perlepigraphs - list of Perl release epigraphs
Many Perl release announcements included an epigraph, a short excerpt from a literary or other creative work, chosen by the pumpking or release manager. This file assembles the known list of epigraph for posterity, and also links to the release announcements in mailing list archives.
Note: these have also been referred to as epigrams, but the definition of epigraph is closer to the way they have been used. Consult your favorite dictionary for details.
I like to think (and the sooner the better!) of a cybernetic meadow where mammals and computers live together in mutually programming harmony like pure water touching clear sky. I like to think (right now, please!) of a cybernetic forest filled with pines and electronics where deer stroll peacefully past computers as if they were flowers with spinning blossoms. I like to think (it has to be!) of a cybernetic ecology where we are free of our labors and joined back to nature, returned to our mammal brothers and sisters, and all watched over by machines of loving grace.
When you walk through a storm Hold your head up high And don't be afraid of the dark At the end of a storm There's a golden sky And the sweet silver song of a lark Walk on through the wind Walk on through the rain Though your dreams be tossed and blown Walk on, walk on With hope in your heart And you'll never walk alone You'll never walk alone Walk on, walk on With hope in your heart And you'll never walk alone You'll never walk alone
He went back for another stack of books: a three-volume English legal treatise; a travel guide to Tuscany from the '20s crammed with faded Italian wildflowers that fluttered out from between the pages like moths; a French edition of Turgeniev so decayed that it came apart in his hands; a register of London society from 1863. In a way it was idiotic. He was treating these books like they were holy relics. It wasn't like he would ever actually read them. But there was something magnetic about them, something that compelled respect, even the silly ones, like the Enlightenment treatise about how lightning was caused by bees. They were information, data, but not in the form he was used to dealing with it. They were non-digital, nonelectrical chunks of memory, not stamped out of silicon but laboriously crafted out of wood pulp and ink, leather and glue. Somebody had cared enough to write these things; somebody else had cared enough to buy them, possibly even read them, at the very least keep them safe for 150 years, sometimes longer, when they could have vanished at the touch of a spark. That made them worth something, didn't it, just by itself? Though most of them would have bored him rigid the second he cracked them open, which there wasn't much chance of. Maybe that was what he found so appealing: the sight of so many books that he'd never have to read, so much work he'd never have to do.
There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
People who have theories as to how one should live tend to forget the limitations of nature. If your way of life involves constant restraint of impulse for the sake of some one supreme aim that you have set yourself, it is likely that the aim will become increasingly distasteful because of the efforts that it demands; impulse, denied its normal outlets, will find others, probably in spite; pleasure, if you allow yourself any at all, will be dissociated from the main current of your life, and will become Bacchic and frivolous. Such pleasure brings no happiness, but only a deeper despair. -- Bertrand Russell, The Road to Happiness
At length did cross an Albatross, Thorough the fog it came; As if it had been a Christian soul, We hailed it in God's name. It ate the food it ne'er had eat, And round and round it flew. The ice did split with a thunder-fit; The helmsman steered us through! And a good south wind sprung up behind; The Albatross did follow, And every day, for food or play, Came to the mariner's hollo! In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud, It perched for vespers nine; Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white, Glimmered the white Moon-shine.' 'God save thee, ancient Mariner! From the fiends, that plague thee thus!— Why look'st thou so?'—With my cross-bow I shot the ALBATROSS.
I've got the life And I'm gonna keep it I've got the life And nobody's gonna take it away I've got the life
Amateur psychiatric prognosis can be fascinating when there is absolutely nothing else to do.
A long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.
I have told my sons that they are not under any circumstances to take part in massacres, and that the news of massacres of enemies is not to fill them with satisfaction or glee. I have also told them not to work for companies which make massacre machinery, and to express contempt for people who think we need machinery like that.
Subjective confidence in a judgment is not a reasoned evaluation of the probability that this judgment is correct. Confidence is a feeling, which reflects the coherence of the information and the cognitive ease of processing it. It is wise to take admissions of uncertainty seriously, but declarations of high confidence mainly tell you that an individual has constructed a coherent story in his mind, not necessarily that the story is true.
He who wants the world to remain as it is doesn't want it to remain.
Pooh always liked a little something at eleven o'clock in the morning, and he was very glad to see Rabbit getting out the plates and mugs; and when Rabbit said, "Honey or condensed milk with your bread?" he was so excited that he said, "Both," and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, "But don't bother about the bread, please."
So long is in the song and it's in the way you're gone but it's like a foreign language in my mind and maybe was I blind I could not see and would not know you're gone so long so long.
Of Beren and Lúthien Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that come down to us from the darkness of those days there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures. And of these histories most fair still in the ears of the Elves is the tale of Beren and Lúthien. Of their lives was made the Lay of Leithian, Release from Bondage, which is the longest save one of the songs concerning the world of old; but here is told in fewer words and without song.
I'm up on all the pop trivia, says the guy with the stud in his tongue. Are you? Yes. Do you know who he lead singer of Echo and the Bunnymen is? Let me guess, is he called Echo? Good guess but no, anyway when they played Glastonbury it was so muddy he had two roadies to hold up a binliner on each of his legs so they wouldn't get covered in mud. That's what being rich and famous is all about, having someone else hold up your binliners on each leg when you're wandering across a sea of shite. Do you know what Sammy Davis Junior said being black and famous in America meant? No. He said being black and famous in America meant he could be refused entry to exclusive clubs and restaurants that other people could only ever dream of going to. Do you know Michael Stipe likes to send his remote control toy cars onto stage while his support band are playing to freak them out? Who's Michael Stipe? You're not really a pop trivia person, are you, Kylah? No, I'm not, Stephen.
We hypostatize information into objects. Rearrangement of objects is change in the content of the information; the message has changed. This is a language which we have lost the ability to read. We ourselves are a part of this language; changes in us are changes in the content of the information. We ourselves are information-rich; information enters us, is processed and is then projected outward once more, now in an altered form. We are not aware that we are doing this, that in fact this is all we are doing
Concerning Nomes and Time Nomes are small. On the whole, small creatures don't live for a long time. But perhaps they do live fast. Let me explain. One of the shortest-lived creatures on the planet Earth is the adult common mayfly. It lasts for one day. The longest-living things are bristlecone pine trees, at 4,700 years and still counting. This may seem tough on the mayflies. But the important thing is not how long your life is, but how long it seems. To a mayfly, a single hour may last as long as a century. Perhaps old mayflies sit around complaining about how life this minute isn't a patch on the good old minutes of long ago, when the world was young and the sun seemed so much brighter and larvae showed you a bit of respect. Whereas the trees, which are not famous to their quick reactions, may just have time to notice the way the sky keeps flickering before the dry rot and woodworm set in. It's all a sort of relativity. The faster you live, the more time stretches out. To a nome, a year lasts as long as ten years does to a human. Remember it. Don't let it concern you. They don't. They don't even know.
When awful darkness and silence reign Over the great Gromboolian plain, Through the long, long wintry nights; - When the angry breakers roar As they beat on the rocky shore; - When Storm-clouds brood on the towering heights Of the Hills of the Chankly Bore: - Then, through the vast and gloomy dark, There moves what seems a fiery spark, A lonely spark with silvery rays Piercing the coal-black night, - A Meteor strange and bright: - Hither and thither the vision strays, A single lurid light. Slowly it wanders, - pauses, - creeps, - Anon it sparkles, - flashes and leaps; And ever as onward it gleaming goes A light on the Bong-tree stems it throws. And those who watch at that midnight hour From Hall or Terrace, or lofty Tower, Cry, as the wild light passes along, - 'The Dong! - the Dong! The wandering Dong through the forest goes! The Dong! the Dong! The Dong with a luminous Nose!'
Waiting for the beat to kick in But it never does Waiting for my feet to grow wings That lift me above All of these tiresome things That we know and love Waiting for the beat to kick in But it never does
Imagine that you're a smart high school student on the low end of the social totem pole. You're alienated from adult authority, but unlike many teenagers, you're also alienated from the power structures of your peers -- an existence that can feel lonely and peripheral. Systems and equations are intuitive, but people aren't -- social signals are confusing and messy, difficult to interpret.
Then you discover code. You may be powerless at the lunch table, but code gives you power over an infinitely malleable world and opens the door to a symbolic system that's perfectly clear and ordered. The jostling for position and status fades away. The nagging parental voices disappear. There's just a clean, white page for you to fill, an opportunity to build a better place, a home, from the ground up.
No wonder you're a geek.
Even the bravest that are slain Shall not dissemble their surprise On waking to find valor reign, Even as on earth, in paradise; And where they sought without the sword Wide fields of asphodel fore’er, To find that the utmost reward Of daring should be still to dare.
'And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he Was tyrannous and strong: He struck with his o'ertaking wings, And chased us south along. With sloping masts and dipping prow, As who pursued with yell and blow Still treads the shadow of his foe, And forward bends his head, The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast, And southward aye we fled. And now there came both mist and snow, And it grew wondrous cold: And ice, mast-high, came floating by, As green as emerald. And through the drifts the snowy clifts Did send a dismal sheen: Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken— The ice was all between. The ice was here, the ice was there, The ice was all around: It cracked and growled, and roared and howled, Like noises in a swound!
A short while later, through the wood, Came striding brave Miss Riding Hood. The Wolf stood there, his eyes ablaze And yellowish, like mayonnaise. His teeth were sharp, his gums were raw, And spit was dripping from his jaw. Once more the maiden's eyelid flickers. She draws the pistol from her knickers. Once more, she hits the vital spot, And kills him with a single shot. Pig, peeping through the window, stood And yelled, 'Well done, Miss Riding Hood!' Ah, Piglet, you must never trust Young ladies from the upper crust. For now, Miss Riding Hood, one notes, Not only has two wolfskin coats, But when she goes from place to place, She has a PIGSKIN TRAVELLING CASE.
The animal I really dig Above all others is the pig. Pigs are noble. Pigs are clever, Pig are courteous. However, Now and then, to break this rule, One meets a pig who is a fool. What, for example, would you say If strolling through the woods one day, Right there in front of you you saw A pig who'd built his house of STRAW? The Wolf who saw it licked his lips, And said, 'That pig has had his chips.'
The Bellman looked uffish, and wrinkled his brow. 'If only you'd spoken before! It's excessively awkward to mention it now, With the Snark, so to speak, at the door! 'We should all of us grieve, as you well may believe, If you never were met with again - But surely, my man, when the voyage began, You might have suggested it then? 'It's excessively awkward to mention it now - As I think I've already remarked.' And the man they called 'Hi!' replied, with a sigh, 'I informed you the day we embarked. 'You may charge me with murder - or want of sense - (We are all of us weak at times): But the slightest approach to a false pretence Was never among my crimes! 'I said it in Hebrew - I said it in Dutch - I said it in German and Greek: But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much) That English is what you speak!' ''Tis a pitiful tale,' said the Bellman, whose face Had grown longer at every word: 'But, now that you've stated the whole of your case, More debate would be simply absurd. 'The rest of my speech' (he exclaimed to his men) 'You shall hear when I've leisure to speak it. But the Snark is at hand, let me tell you again! 'Tis your glorious duty to seek it!
Thus passed the night so foul, till Morning fair Came forth with pilgrim steps, in amice grey; Who with her radiant finger stilled the roar Of thunder, chased the clouds, and laid the winds, And grisly spectres, which the fiend had raised To tempt the Son of God with terrors dire. And now the sun with more effectual beams Had cheered the face of earth, and dried the wet From drooping plant, or dropping tree; the birds, Who all things now behold more fresh and green, After a night of storm so ruinous, Cleared up their choicest notes in bush and spray, To gratulate the sweet return of morn.
Before the gates there sat On either side a formidable shape; The one seemed woman to the waste, and fair, But ended foul in many a scaly fold, Voluminous and vast -- a serpent armed With mortal sting; about her middle round A cry of hell hounds never ceasing barked With wide Cerberean mouths full loud, and rung A hideous peal; yet, when they list, would creep, If aught disturbed their noise, into her womb, And kennel there; yet there still barked and howled Within unseen. Far less abhorred than these Vexed Scylla, bathing in the sea that parts Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore; Nor uglier follow the night-hag, when, called In secret, riding through the air she comes, Lured with the smell of infant blood, to dance With Lapland witches, while the labouring moon Eclipses at their charms. The other shape -- If shape it might be called that shape had none Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb; Or substance might be called that shadow seemed, For each seemed either -- black it stood as night, Fierce as ten Furies, terrible as hell, And shook a dreadful dart: what seemed his head The likeness of a kingly crown had on. Satan was now at hand, and from his seat The monster moving onward came as fast With horrid strides; hell trembled as he strode.
A bird within the bower of her delight, Quiet upon the nest with her sweet brood Throughout the dark concealment of the night, Anxious to look on them and gather food - No weary task for her, for as at play Blithely she toils to seek her fledglings' good - Before the time, upon the topmost spray Eager awaits the sun and on the East Fixes her wakeful eye till break of day.
When we had crossed the threshold of that gate Which the soul's evil loves put out of use, Because they make the crooked path seem straight, I heard its closing clang ring clamorous, And had I then turned back my eyes to it How could my fault have found the least excuse? We had to climb now through a rocky slit Which ran from side to side in many a swerve, As runs the wave in onset and retreat. "Now here," the master said, "we must observe Some little caution, hugging now this wall, Now that, upon the far side of the curve."
New punishments behoves me sing in this Twentieth canto of my first canticle, Which tells of spirits sunk in the Abyss. I now stood ready to observe the full Extent of the new chasm thus laid bare, Drenched as it was in tears most miserable. Through the round vale I saw folk drawing near, Weeping and silent, and at such slow pace As Litany processions keep, up here. And presently, when I had dropped my gaze Lower than the head, I saw them strangely wried 'Twixt collar-bone and chin, so that the face Of each was turned towards his own backside, And backwards must they needs creep with their feet, All power of looking forward being denied.
As I sit here, and oftentimes, I wish I could be monarch of a desert land I could devote and dedicate forever To the truths we keep coming back and back to. So desert it would have to be, so walled By mountain ranges half in summer snow, No one would covet it or think it worth The pains of conquering to force change on. Scattered oases where men dwelt, but mostly Sand dunes held loosely in tamarisk Blown over and over themselves in idleness. Sand grains should sugar in the natal dew The babe born to the desert, the sand storm Retard mid-waste my cowering caravans— “There are bees in this wall.” He struck the clapboards, Fierce heads looked out; small bodies pivoted. We rose to go. Sunset blazed on the windows.
And I hope when you think of me years down the line You can't find one good thing to say And I'd hope that if I found the strength to walk out You'd stay the hell out of my way I am drowning, there is no sign of land You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand
"See, there were these two guys in a lunatic asylum…"
The Great Pumpkin is a Santa-Claus like figure. He does bring toys like Santa. But unlike Santa, who gives away toys because it's his job, he gives away toys because it's the right thing to do.
“How do you feel, Yossarian?”
“Fine. No, I’m very frightened.”
“That’s good,” said Major Danby. “It proves you’re still alive. It won’t be fun.”
Yossarian started out. “Yes it will.”
“I mean it, Yossarian. You’ll have to keep on your toes every minute of every day. They’ll bend heaven and earth to catch you.”
“I’ll keep on my toes every minute.”
“You’ll have to jump.”
“Jump!” Major Danby cried.
Nately’s [girl] was hiding just outside the door. The knife came down, missing him by inches, and he took off.
Nothing was left to do that I could see Unless to find that there was no one there And declare to the cliffs too far for echo, "The place is desert, and let whoso lurks In silence, if in this he is aggrieved, Break silence now or be forever silent. Let him say why it should not be declared so." The melancholy of having to count souls Where they grow fewer and fewer every year Is extreme where they shrink to none at all. It must be I want life to go on living.
Spring is the proper beginning of my kitchen and a season that I look forward to with great anticipation. By the time spring arrives I am desperate to welcome all the spring produce into my kitchen and I long to work with fresh green vegetables again. As much as I love root vegetables, such as celeriac and parsnips, and the heaver meat and game dishes, I'm ready to leave those behind with winter and begin a new adventure.
Somehow spring always gives me a little bit of bounce in my feet -- I feel like I want to kick off my shoes and dance around in my kitchen. Not that I do, of course, but I feel lighter somehow. My adrenalin kicks in with spring and so does the level of excitement, as I think about all the produce that is about to come in.
The moment spring arrives I'm eager to cook peas, broad beans, green asparagus and other fresh vegetables! I want to create lighter, brighter dishes and I can't wait to get my hands on the first greens and the first morels, not to mention the first wild Scottish salmon. Thanks to my network of trusted suppliers, I always get to first produce of the season delivered to my restaurant as soon as it is possible. I want my customers to experience and understand the beauty of locally grown produce and to try things the minute they are available so they can taste how incredibly fresh the ingredients are. I also want them to understand the relationship between seasonality and flavours. One of the most important things to remember is to allow the seasons to inspire your dishes and help you make natural matches. Wild spring herbs, such as sorrel, sweet cicely and wild garlic, as well as spring salad leaves and green lettuce served with wild salmon, wild sea trout, lamb or rabbit are marriages made in heaven.
Denna, on the other hand, had never been trained. She knew nothing of shortcuts. You'd think she'd be forced to wander the city, lost and helpless, trapped in a twisting maze of mortared stone.
But instead, she simply walked throught the walls. She didn't know any better. Nobody had ever told her she couldn't. Because of this, she moved through the city like some faerie creature. She walked roads no one else could see, and it made her music wild and strange and free.
A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he'd taken and the corners he cut in Night City, and he'd still see the matrix in his dreams, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colourless void...The Sprawl was a long, strange way home now over the Pacific, and he was no Console Man, no cyberspace cowboy. Just another hustler, trying to make it through. But the dreams came on in the Japanese night like livewire voodoo, and he'd cry for it, cry in his sleep, and wake alone in the dark, curled in his capsule in some coffin hotel, hands clawed into the bedslab, temper foam bunched between his fingers, trying to reach the console that wasn't there.
A long time ago in microseconds, in a galaxy not very far away... 5.23 Episode VII THE FUZZ AWAKENS It is a period of unrest as separatists announce their intentions to fork PERL and return the galaxy to speed and stability. Chancellor Rik Hoolian struggles to hold together the remains of the once mighty Republic against a tide of incivility and the depredations of a new foe, the FUZZ RAIDERS. Meanwhile, after 15 years of preparation and high expectations, Supreme Leader Toady prepares to unleash a devastating new weapon, PERL SIXDOTOH, that could splinter the Republic forever and usher in a new Empire of gradual typing....
After Mel had left the company for greener pa$ture$, the Big Boss asked me to look at the code and see if I could find the test and reverse it. Somewhat reluctantly, I agreed to look. Tracking Mel's code was a real adventure.
I have often felt that programming is an art form, whose real value can only be appreciated by another versed in the same arcane art; there are lovely gems and brilliant coups hidden from human view and admiration, sometimes forever, by the very nature of the process. You can learn a lot about an individual just by reading through his code, even in hexadecimal. Mel was, I think, an unsung genius.
Perhaps my greatest shock came when I found an innocent loop that had no test in it. No test. None. Common sense said it had to be a closed loop, where the program would circle, forever, endlessly. Program control passed right through it, however, and safely out the other side. It took me two weeks to figure it out.
The RPC-4000 computer had a really modern facility called an index register. It allowed the programmer to write a program loop that used an indexed instruction inside; each time through, the number in the index register was added to the address of that instruction, so it would refer to the next datum in a series. He had only to increment the index register each time through. Mel never used it.
Instead, he would pull the instruction into a machine register, add one to its address, and store it back. He would then execute the modified instruction right from the register. The loop was written so this additional execution time was taken into account -- just as this instruction finished, the next one was right under the drum's read head, ready to go. But the loop had no test in it.
The vital clue came when I noticed the index register bit, the bit that lay between the address and the operation code in the instruction word, was turned on -- yet Mel never used the index register, leaving it zero all the time. When the light went on it nearly blinded me.
He had located the data he was working on near the top of memory -- the largest locations the instructions could address -- so, after the last datum was handled, incrementing the instruction address would make it overflow. The carry would add one to the operation code, changing it to the next one in the instruction set: a jump instruction. Sure enough, the next program instruction was in address location zero, and the program went happily on its way.
Well, everybody's got a dog. The prime minister is the king's dog. The first secretary is the prime minister's dog. A wife is a husband's dog, or a husband is a wife's dog. Favourite is Madame So-and-so's dog and Thibaut is the man on the corner's dog. When my Master tells me to talk when I'd prefer not to, which to be honest doesn't happen very often, when he tells me to shut up when I feel like talking, which I find very difficult, when he asks me to tell the story of my love-life and then keeps interrupting, what am I if not his dog? Weak men are the dogs of strong men.
Little of of all we value here Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year Without both feeling and looking queer. In fact, there’s nothing that keeps its youth, So far as I know, but a tree and truth. (This is a moral that runs at large; Take it. — You’re welcome. — No extra charge.)
Would you believe in a night like this A night like this, when visions come true Would you believe in a tale like this A lay of bliss, praise in the old lore Come to the blazing fire and See me in the shadows See me in the shadows Songs I will sing Of runes and rings Just hand me my harp This night turns into myth Nothing seems real You soon will feel The world we live in is another skald's Dream in the shadows Dream in the shadows Do you believe there is sense in it Is it truth or myth? They´re one in my rhymes Nobody knows the meaning behind The weaver's line Well nobody else but the Norns can See through the blazing fires of time and All things will proceed as the Child of the hallowed Will speak to you now See me in the shadows See me in the shadows Songs I will sing of tribes and kings The carrion bird and the hall of the slain Nothing seems real You soon will feel The world we live in is another skald´s Dream in the shadows Dream in the shadows Do not fear for my reason There's nothing to hide How bitter your treason How bitter the lie Remember the runes and remember the light All I ever want is to be at your side We'll gladden the raven now I will Run through the blazing fires That's my choice Cause things shall proceed as foreseen
I was born beneath this willow, Where my sire the earth did farm Had the green grass as my pillow The east wind as a blanket warm. But away! away! called the wind from the west And in answer I did run Seeking glory and adventure Promised by the rising sun. I found love beneath this willow, As true a love as life could hold, Pledged my heart and swore my fealty Sealed with a kiss and a band of gold. But to arms! to arms! called the wind from the west In faithful answer I did run Marching forth for king and country In battles 'neath the midday sun. Oft I dreamt of that fair willow As the seven seas I plied And the girl who I left waiting Longing to be at her side. But about! about! called the wind from the west As once again my ship did run Down the coast, about the wide world Flying sails in the setting sun. Now I lie beneath the willow Now at last no more to roam, My bride and earth so tightly hold me In their arms I'm finally home. While away! away! calls the wind from the west Beyond the grave my spirit, free Will chase the sun into the morning Beyond the sky, beyond the sea.
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more Well, I try my best To be just like I am But everybody wants you To be just like them They sing while you slave and I just get bored I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
Then Little Red Riding Hood said, 'But Grandma, what a lovely great big furry coat you have on.' 'That's wrong!' cried Wolf. 'Have you forgot 'To tell me what BIG TEETH I've got? 'Ah well, no matter what you say, 'I'm going to eat you anyway.' The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers. She whips a pistol from her knickers. She aims it at the creature's head And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead. A few weeks later, in the wood, I came across Miss Riding Hood. But what a change! No cloak of red, No silly hood upon her head. She said, 'Hello, and do please note 'My lovely furry WOLFSKIN COAT.'
As soon as Wolf began to feel That he would like a decent meal, He went and knocked on Grandma's door. When Grandma opened it, she saw The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin, And Wolfie said, 'May I come in?' Poor Grandmamma was terrified, 'He's going to eat me up!' she cried. And she was absolutely right. He ate her up in one big bite.
As one who strives a hill to climb, Who never climbed before: Who finds it, in a little time, Grow every moment less sublime, And votes the thing a bore: Yet, having once begun to try, Dares not desert his quest, But, climbing, ever keeps his eye On one small hut against the sky Wherein he hopes to rest: Who climbs till nerve and force are spent, With many a puff and pant: Who still, as rises the ascent, In language grows more violent, Although in breath more scant: Who, climbing, gains at length the place That crowns the upward track: And, entering with unsteady pace, Receives a buffet in the face That lands him on his back: And feels himself, like one in sleep, Glide swiftly down again, A helpless weight, from steep to steep, Till, with a headlong giddy sweep, He drops upon the plain - So I, that had resolved to bring Conviction to a ghost, And found it quite a different thing From any human arguing, Yet dared not quit my post.
Thus wore out night; and now the herald lark Left his ground-nest, high towering to descry The Morn's approach, and greet her with his song; As lightly from his grassy couch up rose Our Saviour, and found all was but a dream; Fasting he went to sleep, and fasting waked. Up to a hill anon his steps he reared, From whose high top to ken the prospect round, If cottage were in view, sheep-cote, or herd; But cottage, herd, or sheep-cote, none he saw -- Only in a bottom saw a pleasant grove, With chant of tuneful birds resounding loud; Thither he bent his way, determined there To rest at noon, and entered soon the shade, High-roofed and walks beneath, and alleys brown, That opened in the midst a woody scene; Nature's own work it seemed (Nature taught Art), And, to a superstitious eye, the haunt Of wood-gods and wood-nymphs.
Far off from these, a slow and silent stream, Lethe, the river of oblivion, rolls Her watery labyrinth, whereof who drinks Forthwith his former state and being forgets -- Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain. Beyond this flood a frozen continent Lies dark and wild, beat with perpetual storms Of Whirlwind and dire hail, which on firm land Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems Of ancient pile; all else deep snow and ice, A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog Betwixt Damiata and Mount Casius old, Where armies whole have sunk: the parching air Burns frore, and cold performs the effect of fire. Thither, by harpy-footed Furies haled, At certain revolutions all the damned Are brought; and feel by turns the bitter change Of fierce extremes, extremes by change more fierce, From beds of raging fire to starve in ice Their soft ethereal warmth, and there to pine Immovable, infixed, and frozen round Periods of time -- thence hurried back to fire. They ferry over this Lethean sound Both to and fro, their sorrow to augment, And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach The tempting stream, with one small drop to lose In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe, All in one moment, and so near the brink; But fate withstands, and, to oppose the attempt, Medusa with Gorgonian terror guards The ford, and of itself the water flies All taste of living wight, as once it fled The lip of Tantalus.
Between two dishes, equally attractive And near to him, a free man, I suppose, Would starve to death before his teeth got active; So would a lamb 'twixt two fierce wolfish foes, Fearing the fangs both ways, not stir a foot; So would a deerhound halt between two does; So I can't blame myself for standing mute, Nor praise myself: for I must needs so do, Suspended 'twixt two doubts, alike acute.
For better waters heading with the wind My ship of genius now shakes out her sail And leaves that ocean of despair behind; For to the second realm I tune my tale, Where human spirits purge themselves, and train To leap up into joy celestial. Now from the grave wake poetry again, O sacred Muses I have served so long! Now let Calliope uplift her strain And lift my voice up on the mighty song That smote the miserable Magpies nine Out of all hope of pardon for their wrong!
The place we came to, to descend the brink from, Was sheer crag; and there was a Thing there - making, All told, a prospect any eye would shrink from. Like the great landslide that rushed downward, shaking The bank of Adige on this side Trent, (Whether through faulty shoring or the earth's quaking) So that the rock, down from the summit rent Far as the plain, lies strewn, and one might crawl From top to bottom by that unsure descent, Such was the precipice; and there we spied, Topping the cleft that split the rocky wall, That which was wombed in the false heifer's side, The infamy of Crete, stretched out a-sprawl; And seeing us, he gnawed himself, like one Inly devoured with spite and burning gall.
A silence; and then: 'If, in just two minutes' time by my watch--and a splendid watch it is--you have not turned the scorpion, mademoiselle, I shall turn the grasshopper... and the grasshopper, remember, _leaps straight up into the air!_' The silence that ensued was terrifying, worse than any we had experienced before. I knew that when Erik spoke with that quiet, gentle, slightly weary voice, it meant that he had reached the end of his tether: that he was capable of the most abominable crimes or the most selfless devotion; that the slightest irritation might unleash a storm. Realizing that our fate was out of our hands, the Viscount fell to his knees and prayed. As for me, I pressed both hands to my chest, for my heart was pounding so fiercely that I thought it would burst. We were intensely aware of the excruciating dilemma Christine Daaé faced in those final seconds. We understood why she hesitated to turn the scorpion. What if the scorpion, rather than the grasshopper, were to set off the explosion? What if Erik was simply intent on destroying everything, regardless? At last he spoke: 'The two minutes are up,' he said in a soft, angelic voice. 'Goodbye, mademoiselle. Off you go, little grasshopper!'
This annual ball was quite a magnificent affair. It was given some time before Shrovetide to celebrate the birthday of a famous illustrator whose pencil had immortalized, in the style of Gavarni, the extravagant carnival parade down La Courtille. As such, the ball was an altogether merrier, noisier and more Bohemian occasion than was usual for a masked ball. Many artists had arranged to meet there; they arrived with an entourage of models and pupils, who, by midnight, had become quite boisterous. Raoul climbed the grand staircase at five minutes to midnight. He did not linger to admire the many-coloured costumes on display all the way up the marble steps of one of the most luxurious settings in the world; nor did he allow himself to be drawn into the facetious conversation of masked guests. He simply ignored all the jesting remarks, and shook off the attentions of several all too merry couples. Crossing the big crush-room and escaping from the dancers' farandole that had encircled him awhile, he at last entered the salon mentioned by Christine in her letter. The small room was crammed with people either on their way to supper at the restaurant in the Rotunda or back from raising a glass of champagne. In the midst of the gay and lively hubbub, Raoul thought that, for their mysterious assignation, Christine must have preferred this crowd to some lonely corner. He leaned against a door-jamb and waited. He did not have to wait long; a black domino passed him and deftly touched his hand. He understood that it was Christine and followed her. 'Is that you, Christine?' he murmured, barely moving his slips. The black domino promptly looked back and raised her finger to her lips, no doubt to caution him against uttering her name again. Raoul followed on in silence.
If the snow flies in my face, Let me shake it off me! If my heart within me speaks, I'll sing bright and gaily! Will not listen what it says, Have no ears for moaning. Do not feel what it complains,-- Only fools like groaning! Jolly brave into the world, 'Gainst all wind and weather,-- If there is no God on earth, Let 's be gods down nether!
Why do I shun all those highways Which the other wanderer seeks? Why do I find bridged by-ways Through snow-covered deep creeks? For I have no crime committed, Why I should now run from men,-- What demented heart's desire Drives me to a desert glen? Signposts on all highways stationed Point their signs toward the towns, Whilst I wonder 'yond moderation, Without rest, yet seeking rest! One such signpost I see planted Of my question unconcerned, One road must my choice be granted, Whence no man has yet returned!
How the storm tore rents In heavens gray attired! The rags of cloud are flying Around, of combat tired. And flames of fire lambent, Fly between them and part, That 's what I call a morning, A morning after my heart! My heart sees in the heavens Its own picture unspoilt-- It's nothing but the Winter, The Winter, cold and wild.
The hoary frost has a white sheen Strewn all over my hair, So I thought I was an old man And thought life dealt me fair. Yet soon was thawed my old white mane, And I have my black hair again. How I abhor my young fair years, How long to wait for death and biers? From setting sun to morning's hue Many a head turns white. Who'll credit it? My hair did not In all this lifelong plight!
In the deepest rocky crevice A will-o'-the wisp lured me; How I could find my way from here, For me it's easy memory! For I am used to straying ways, Every path to th'end a way, All our joys and all our suffering,-- To a will-o'-the wisp it 's all play! Through the dried-up bed of torrents I quite calmly downward stroll; Every stream its sea will enter, Every suffering finds its goal!
“You are the advocate of the dead.”
The old man nodded. “I am. People talk about being fair to this one and that one, but nobody I ever heard talks about doing right by them. We take everything they had, which is all right. And spit, most often, on their opinions, which I suppose is all right too. But we ought to remember now and then how much of what we have we got from them. I figure while I’m still here I ought to put a word in for them.”
And when thyself with silver foot shall pass Among the theories scattered on the grass Take up my good intentions with the rest
There is no limit to stupidity. Space itself is said to be bounded by its own curvature, but stupidity continues beyond infinity.
They shall pass and their places be taken, The gods and the priests that are pure. They shall pass, and shalt thou not be shaken? They shall perish, and shalt thou endure? Death laughs, breathing close and relentless In the nostrils and eyelids of lust, With a pinch in his fingers of scentless And delicate dust. But the worm shall revive thee with kisses; Thou shalt change and transmute as a god, As the rod to a serpent that hisses, As the serpent again to a rod. Thy life shall not cease though thou doff it; Thou shalt live until evil be slain, And good shall die first, said thy prophet, Our Lady of Pain.
The fire burned on, the good fathers continued to sprinkle and intone. Suddenly a flock of pigeons came swooping down from the church and started to wheel around the roaring column of flame and smoke. The crowd shouted, the archers waved their halberds at the birds, Lactance and Tranquille splashed them on the wing with holy water. In vain. The pigeons were not to be driven away. Round and round they flew, diving through the smoke, singeing their feathers in the flames. Both parties claimed a miracle. For the parson's enemies the birds, quite obviously, were a troop of devils, come to fetch away his soul. For his friends, they were emblems of the Holy Ghost and living proof of his innocence. It never seems to have occurred to anyone that they were just pigeons, obeying the laws of their own, their blessedly other-than-human nature.
There is another sky, Ever serene and fair, And there is another sunshine, Though it be darkness there; Never mind faded forests, Austin, Never mind silent fields - Here is a little forest, Whose leaf is ever green; Here is a brighter garden, Where not a frost has been; In its unfading flowers I hear the bright bee hum: Prithee, my brother, Into my garden come!
Calvin: OK Hobbes, press the button and duplicate me. Hobbes: Are you sure this is such a good idea? Calvin: Brother! You doubting Thomases get in the way of more scientific advances with your stupid ethical questions! This is a *BRILLIANT* idea! Hit the button, will ya? Hobbes: I'd hate to be accused of inhibiting scientific progress... Here you go. [Box]: *BOINK* Hobbes: Scientific progress goes "BOINK"? Calvin?: It worked! It worked! I'm a genius! Cavlin??: No you're not, you liar! *I* invented this!
"Zebadiah, Hilda and I salvaged and put everything into the basket. Hilda started to put it into our wardrobe-and it was heavy. So we looked. Packed as tight as when we left Oz. Six bananas-and everything else. Cross my heart. No, go look." "Hmmm- Jake, can you write equations for a picnic basket that refills itself? Will it go on doing so?" "Zeb, equations can be written to describe anything. The description would be simpler for a basket that replenishes itself indefinitely than for one that does it once and stops-I would have to describe the discontinuity."
EXCHANGE MECHANISMS. Sometimes we lose precious things. Friends and colleagues, fellow travellers in the Vurt, sometimes we lose them; even lovers we sometimes lose. And get bad things in exchange: aliens, objects, snakes, and sometimes even death. Things we don't want. This is part of the deal, part of the game deal; all things, in all worlds, must be kept in balance. Kittlings often ask, who decides on the swappings? Now then, some say it's all accidental; that some poor Vurt thing finds himself too close to a door, at too critical a time, just when something real is being lost. Whoosh! Swap time! Others say that some kind of overseer is working the MECHANISMS OF EXCHANGE, deciding the fate of innocents. The Cat can only tease at this, because of the big secrets involved, and because of the levels between you, the reader, and me, the Game Cat. Hey, listen; I've struggled to get where I am today; why should I give you the easy route? Get working, kittlings! Reach up higher. Work the Vurt.
Het Dorp Thuis heb ik nog een ansichtkaart waarop een kerk, een kar met paard, een slagerij J. van der Ven. Een kroeg, een juffrouw op de fiets het zegt u hoogstwaarschijnlijk niets, maar 't is waar ik geboren ben. Dit dorp, ik weet nog hoe het was, de boerenkind'ren in de klas, een kar die ratelt op de keien, het raadhuis met een pomp ervoor, een zandweg tussen koren door, het vee, de boerderijen. En langs het tuinpad van m'n vader zag ik de hoge bomen staan. Ik was een kind en wist niet beter, dan dat dat nooit voorbij zou gaan. Wat leefden ze eenvoudig toen in simp'le huizen tussen groen met boerenbloemen en een heg. Maar blijkbaar leefden ze verkeerd, het dorp is gemoderniseerd en nu zijn ze op de goeie weg. Want ziet, hoe rijk het leven is, ze zien de televisiequiz en wonen in betonnen dozen, met flink veel glas, dan kun je zien hoe of het bankstel staat bij Mien en d'r dressoir met plastic rozen. En langs het tuinpad van m'n vader zag ik de hoge bomen staan. Ik was een kind en wist niet beter, dan dat dat nooit voorbij zou gaan. De dorpsjeugd klit wat bij elkaar in minirok en beatle-haar en joelt wat mee met beat-muziek. Ik weet wel, het is hun goeie recht, de nieuwe tijd, net wat u zegt, maar het maakt me wat melancholiek. Ik heb hun vaders nog gekend ze kochten zoethout voor een cent ik zag hun moeders touwtjespringen. Dat dorp van toen, het is voorbij, dit is al wat er bleef voor mij: een ansicht en herinneringen. Toen ik langs het tuinpad van m'n vader de hoge bomen nog zag staan. Ik was een kind, hoe kon ik weten dat dat voorgoed voorbij zou gaan.
To-day, being in latitude 83° 20', longitude 43° 5' W. (the sea being of an extraordinarily dark colour), we again saw land from the masthead, and, upon a closer scrutiny, found it to be one of a group of very large islands. The shore was precipitous, and the interior seemed to be well wooded, a circumstance which occasioned us great joy. In about four hours from our first discovering the land we came to anchor in ten fathoms, sandy bottom, a league from the coast, as a high surf, with strong ripples here and there, rendered a nearer approach of doubtful expediency. The two largest boats were now ordered out, and a party, well armed (among whome were Peters and myself), proceeded to look for an opening in the reef which appeared to encircle the island. After searching about for some time, we discovered an inlet, which we were entering, when we saw four large canoes put off from the shore, filled with men who seemed to be well armed. We waited for them to come up, and, as they moved with great rapidity, they were soon within hail. Captain Guy now held up a white handkerchief on the blade of an oar, when the strangers made a full stop, and commenced a loud jabbering all at once, intermingled with occasional shouts, in which we could distinguish the words Anamoo-moo! and Lama-Lama! They continued this for at least half an hour, during which we had a good opportunity of observing their appearance.
If they just went straight they might go far, They are strong and brave and true; But they're always tired of the things that are, And they want the strange and new. They say: "Could I find my proper groove, What a deep mark I would make!" So they chop and change, and each fresh move Is only a fresh mistake.
Armstrong: Okay. Here's a...Looks like a good area here. Aldrin: I got the shadow out there. Aldrin: 250, down at 2 1/2, 19 forward. Aldrin: Altitude, velocity lights. Aldrin: 3 1/2 down, 220 feet, 13 forward. Aldrin: 11 forward. Coming down nicely. Armstrong: Gonna be right over that crater. Aldrin: 200 feet, 4 1/2 down. Aldrin: 5 1/2 down. Armstrong: I got a good spot [garbled]. Aldrin: 160 feet, 6 1/2 down. Aldrin: 5 1/2 down, 9 forward. You're looking good. Aldrin: 120 feet. Aldrin: 100 feet, 3 1/2 down, 9 forward. Five percent. Quantity light. Aldrin: Okay. 75 feet. And it's looking good. Down a half, 6 forward. Duke: 60 seconds. Aldrin: Light's on. Aldrin: 60 feet, down 2 1/2. 2 forward. 2 forward. That's good. Aldrin: 40 feet, down 2 1/2. Picking up some dust. Aldrin: 30 feet, 2 1/2 down. [Garbled] shadow. Aldrin: 4 forward. 4 forward. Drifting to the right a little. 20 feet, down a half. Duke: 30 seconds. Aldrin: Drifting forward just a little bit; that's good. Aldrin: Contact Light. Armstrong: Shutdown. Aldrin: Okay. Engine Stop. Aldrin: ACA out of Detent. Armstrong: Out of Detent. Auto. Aldrin: Mode Control, both Auto. Descent Engine Command Override, Off. Engine Arm, Off. 413 is in. Duke: We copy you down, Eagle. Armstrong: Engine arm is off. Armstrong: Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed. Duke: Roger, Twan...[correcting himself] Tranquility. We copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot. Aldrin: Thank you.
We rode on the winds of the rising storm, We ran to the sounds of the thunder. We danced among the lightning bolts, and tore the world asunder. -- Anonymous fragment of a poem believed written near the end of the previous Age, known by some as the Third Age. Sometimes attributed to the Dragon Reborn.
Walled in fast within the earth Stands the form burnt out of clay. This must be the bell’s great birth! Fellows, lend a hand to-day. Sweat must trickle now From the burning brow, Till the work its master honour. Blessing comes from Heaven’s Donor.
Steady old Väinämöinen uttered a word and spoke thus: 'No lilting on the waters and no singing on the waves! Song keeps you lazy tales delay rowing. Precious day would pass and night would overtake us midway on these wide waters upon these vast waves.' The wanton Lemminkäinen uttered a word and spoke thus: 'The time will pass anyway the fair day will flee and the night will come panting and the twilight will steal in if you don't sing while you live nor hum in this world.'
'I fled from Basra, sad and tearful, with no idea where I was going, and I was reciting these lines:
The pain of parting makes me melt away, As lovers do when those they love are harsh. I wonder at the patience that I showed When I had lost my love, for that was wonderful. Beloved, do you know that since you left, I have remained confused in misery.
I then heard a voice that said: "Damn you, have you no fear of Almighty God that you hand over a girl to an unbelieving 'ifrit?" I walked for a time amongst the palm-trees until I caught sight of a person, whom I approached. When I asked him who he was he said: "I am one of the jinn who were converted to Islam at the hands of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, may God ennoble him." "How can I get to my wife?" I asked him, and he said: "Wretched fellow, you had a bird which you allowed to fly away and now you want to fly after it." But he added: "Follow this road with God's blessing all night until dawn and then by the shore you will see a huge cave in which there is an idol made of white stone. You must drink of the water that there is coming out of the cave and smear your face with its mud. Stay there and a barge will pass you as you stand opposite the statue. Various different creatures will emerge, heads without bodies and bodies without heads, and they will prostrate themselves in adoration to the idol rather than to Almighty God. When you see that, embark on the barge and cross to the other bank and walk along it until sunset. On a high point you will see a castle built of bricks of gold and silver. That is where your 'ifrit will be. I have now told you about this, so goodbye."
'On the night of the wedding the ape came to sit in front of me and asked me what I intended to do. "Whatever you tell me," I replied, and he said: "Take care not to covet the girl, or I shall come back and burn you up and leave you as a lesson for those who can learn." I agreed to this and when evening came I found the world full of candles and torches burning in holders of gold and silver. There were servants and serving girls, and everyone who saw me congratulated me on my good fortune, as there was no girl on the face of the earth more beautiful than my bride. [...] 'Next morning I went out to the market, and people went in and asked her how the night had been. "He never looked up at me," she told them. Then, when it was afternoon, I went to my house, where the ape was sitting by the door. "Tell me what you did," it said, and I told it: "By God, I did not learn and do not know whether this was a man or a girl." "That's what I want," it said. [...] 'On the second night my bride was brought to me, after which the servants left her and went away. She fell asleep, and, while she was sleeping, I killed the cock, wrapped it in the cloth and put the four poles from the couch over it. Suddenly there was a huge crash like a peal of thunder and a fiery 'ifrit swooped on the girl. I fainted at the sight and when I recovered I heard a voice saying: "By the Lord of the Ka'ba, the girl has been carried off!" and there was a sound like the rustling of wind and bitter weeping. At this I shed tears, struck my head and was filled with regret when it was no longer of any use, for to me the whole world was worth no more than a bean.
Everyone loves Magical Trevor, 'Cos the tricks that he does are ever so clever; Look at him now, disappearin' the cow, Where is the cow hidden right now? Taking a bow, it's Magical Trevor, Everybody's seen that the trick is clever; Look at him there with his leathery, leathery whip! It's made of magic, and with a little flip-- Yeah, yeah, yeah, the cow is back, Yeah, yeah, yeah, the cow is back; Back, back, back from his magical journey, Yeah! What did he see in the parallel dimension? He saw beans, lots of beans, lots of beans, lots of beans; Oh, beans, lots of beans, lots of beans, lots of beans, Yeah, yeah!
I've seen things, I've seen them with my eyes; I've seen things, They're often in disguise. Like carrots, handbags, cheese, toilets, Russians, planets, hamsters, weddings, Poets, Stalin, Kuala Lumpur! Pygmies, budgies, Kuala Lumpur! I've seen things, I've seen them with my eyes; I've seen things, They're often in disguise. Like carrots, handbags, cheese...
DORABELLA (as if waking from a daze): Where are they? DON ALFONSO: They've gone. FIORDILIGI: Oh, the cruel bitterness of parting! DON ALFONSO: Take heart, my dearest children. Look, in the distance, your lovers are waving to you. FIORDILIGI: Bon voyage, my darling! DORABELLA: Bon voyage! FIORDILIGI: O heavens! How swiftly the ship is sailing away! It is disappearing already! It is no longer in sight! Oh, may heaven grant it a prosperous voyage! DORABELLA: May good luck attend it to the battlefield! DON ALFONSO: And may your sweethearts and my friends be safe! FIORDILIGI, DORABELLA, DON ALFONSO: May the wind be gentle, may the sea be calm, and may the elements respond kindly to our wishes.
GUGLIELMO: Oh God, I feel that this foot of mine is reluctant to come before her. FERRANDO: My trembling lip can utter no word. DON ALFONSO: The hero displays his manliness in the most terrible moments. FIORDILIGI, DORABELLA: Now that we have heard the news, you have the lesser duty: Take heart, and plunge your swords into both our hearts. FERRANDO, GUGLIELMO: My idol, blame fate that I must abandon you. DORABELLA: Ah no, you shall not leave... FIORDILIGI: No, cruel one, you shall not go... DORABELLA: First I want to tear out my heart. FIORDILIGI: First I want to die at your feet. FERRANDO (softly to Don Alfonso): What do you say to that? GUGLIELMO (softly to Don Alfonso): You realise? DON ALFONSO (softly): Steady, friend, finem lauda. ALL: Thus destiny defrauds the hopes of mortals. Ah, among so many misfortunes, who can ever love life?
DON ALFONSO: I'd like to speak, but I haven't the heart: my lip stammers. My voice cannot emerge, but remains in my throat. What will you do? What shall I do? Oh what a great catastrophe! There can be nothing worse. I feel pity for you and for them. FIORDILIGI: Heavens! For mercy's sake, Signor Alfonso, don't make us die. DON ALFONSO: My children, you must arm yourselves with constancy. DORABELLA: Ye Gods! What evil has occurred? What horrible event? Is my love dead, perhaps? FIORDILIGI: Is mine dead? DON ALFONSO: They are not dead, but they are not far from it. DORABELLA: Wounded? DON ALFONSO: No. FIORDILIGI: Ill? DON ALFONSO: Nor that. FIORDILIGI: What, then? DON ALFONSO: A royal command summons them to the field of battle. FIORDILIGI, DORABELLA: Alas, what do I hear? And they will leave? DON ALFONSO: Immediately. DORABELLA: And there is no way of preventing it? DON ALFONSO: There is none. FIORDILIGI: And not even a single farewell... DON ALFONSO: The unhappy men haven't the courage to see you; but if you wish it, they are ready... DORABELLA: Where are they? DON ALFONSO: Come in, friends.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
When times go bad when times go rough Won't you lay me down in tall grass And let me do my stuff
O rigorous mathematics, I have not forgotten you since your wise lessons, sweeter than honey, filtered into my heart like a refreshing wave. Instinctively, from the cradle, I had longed to drink from your source, older than the sun, and I continue to tread the sacred sanctuary of your solemn temple, I, the most faithful of your devotees. There was a vagueness in my mind, something thick as smoke; but I managed to mount the steps which lead to your altar, and you drove away this dark veil, as the wind blows the draught-board. You replaced it with excessive coldness, consummate prudence and implacable logic. With the aid of your fortifying milk, my intellect developed rapidly and took on immense proportions amid the ravishing lucidity which you bestow as a gift on all those who sincerely love you. Arithmetic! Algebra! Geometry! Awe-inspiring trinity! Luminous triangle! He who has not known you is a fool!
The urge to discover secrets is deeply ingrained in human nature; even the least curious mind is roused by the promise of sharing knowledge withheld from others. Some are fortunate enough to find a job which consists in the solution of mysteries, whether it be the physicist who tracks down a hitherto unknown nuclear particle or the policeman who detects a criminal. But most of us are driven to sublimate this urge by the solving of artificial puzzles devised for our entertainment.
Old hands. The smell of rain--the smell of Ch'an. Quiet words in rough Cantonese. "I am not to be your master. Your master has to be stronger than you are--has to tell you you are a fool and make you know it. And make you feel content in being a fool. How could I do that for you? I'm old. You are too strong for me; you are full of chi." The old man has paused then, huddled against the wind while clouds thickened above them.
"I will tell you this, Long," he continued, "Before you find yourself you will lose your chi. Also you will leave behind you all pride of body, pride of mind. You will be reduced. Like me." The old man closed his eyes, and rain began to beat against his gray, crew-cut hair. He pulled his coat closer. Suddenly his eyes snapped open and he looked Long in the face.
"You must leave China. Go across the ocean. There you will meet your master." He set down his teacup with a palsied hand. His voice rose, grew fierce.
"I tell you this, most honored and impressive visitor. You are a fool, yes, but you will find the very thing you seek. You will find truth!"
“I used to get a big kick out of saving people’s lives. Now I wonder what the hell’s the point, since they all have to die anyway.”
“Oh, there’s a point, all right,” Dunbar assured him.
“Is there? What is the point?”
“The point is to keep them from dying for as long as you can.”
“Yeah, but what’s the point, since they all have to die anyway?”
“The trick is not to think about that.”
“Never mind the trick. What the hell’s the point?”
Dunbar pondered in silence for a few moments. “Who the hell knows?”
And somewhere in there was springtime. The corpse mines were closed down. The soldiers all left to fight the Russians. In the suburbs, the women and children dug rifle pits. Billy and the rest of his group were locked up in the stable in the suburbs. And then, one morning, they got up to discover that the door was unlocked. World War Two in Europe was over.
Billy and the rest wandered out onto the shady street. The trees were leafing out. There was nothing going on out there, no traffic of any kind. There was only one vehicle, an abandoned wagon drawn by two horses. The wagon was green and coffin-shaped.
Birds were talking.
One bird said to Billy Pilgrim, "Pee-tee-weet?"
Interior: cheap cafe. All the customers are Vikings. Mr and Mrs Bun enter downwards (on wires). Mr. Bun: Morning. Waitress: Morning. Mr. Bun: What have you got, then? Waitress: Well there's egg and bacon; egg, sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg, bacon and spam; egg, bacon, sausage and spam; spam, bacon, sausage and spam; spam, egg, spam, spam, bacon and spam; spam, spam, spam, egg and spam; spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, baked beans, spam, spam, spam and spam; or lobster thermidor aux crevettes, with a mornay sauce garnished with truffle pate, brandy and a fried egg on top and spam Mrs. Bun: Have you got anything without spam in it? Waitress: Well, there's spam, egg, sausage and spam. That's not got MUCH spam in it. Mrs. Bun: I don't want ANY spam. Mr. Bun: Why can't she have egg, bacon, spam and sausage? Mrs. Bun: That's got spam in it! Mr. Bun: Not as much as spam, egg, sausage and spam. Mrs. Bun: Look, could I have egg, bacon, spam and sausage, without the spam. Waitress: Uuuuuuggggh! Mrs. Bun: What d'you mean, uugggh! I don't like spam. Vikings: (singing) Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam ... spam, spam, spam, spam ... lovely spam, wonderful spam ... (Brief shot of a Viking ship) Waitress: Shut up. Shut up! Shut up! You can't have egg, bacon, spam and sausage without the spam. Mrs. Bun: Why not? Waitress: No, it wouldn't be egg, bacon, spam and sausage, would it? Mrs. Bun: I don't like spam!
I A cat is strolling through my mind Acting as though he owned the place, A lovely cat -- strong, charming, sweet. When he meows, one scarcely hears, So tender and discreet his tone; But whether he should growl or purr His voice is always rich and deep. That is the secret of his charm. This purling voice that filters down Into my darkest depths of soul Fulfils me like a balanced verse, Delights me as a potion would. It puts to sleep the cruellest ills And keeps a rein on ecstasies -- Without the need for any words It can pronounce the longest phrase. Oh no, there is no bow that draws Across my heart, fine instrument, And makes to sing so royally The strongest and the purest chord, More than your voice, mysterious cat, Exotic cat, seraphic cat, In whom all is, angelically, As subtle as harmonious. II From his soft fur, golden and brown, Goes out so sweet a scent, one night I might have been embalmed in it By giving him one little pet. He is my household's guardian soul; He judges, he presides, inspires All matters in hos royal realm; Might he be fairy? or a god? When my eyes, to this cat I love Drawn as by a magnet's force, Turn tamely back from that appeal, And when I look within myself, I notice with astonishment The fire of his opal eyes, Clear beacons glowing, living jewels, Taking my measure, steadily.
There is something in sickness that breaks down the pride of manhood; that softens the heart and brings it back to the feelings of infancy. Who that has languished, even in advanced life, in sickness and despondency — who that has pined on a weary bed in the neglect and loneliness of a foreign land — but has thought on the mother "that looked on his childhood," that smoothed his pillow and administered to his helplessness. — Oh! there is an enduring tenderness in the love of a mother to her son that transcends all other affections of the heart. It is neither to be chilled by selfishness — nor daunted by danger — nor weakened by worthlessness — nor stifled by ingratitude. She will sacrifice every comfort to his convenience — she will surrender every pleasure to his enjoyment — she will glory in his fame and exult in his prosperity. And if misfortune overtake him he will be the dearer to her from misfortune — and if disgrace settle upon his name, she will still love and cherish him in spite of his disgrace — and if all the world beside cast him off, she will be all the world to him.
E.M. Forster, outdoing the King's heresy with grand bravura, had written in 1938 that if he were faced with the choice between betraying his country and betraying his friends, he hoped he would have the courage to betray his country. He would always put the personal above the political. But for Alan Turing, unlike Forster, or Wittgenstein, or G.H. Hardy, it was more than a theoretical question. For him not only had the personal become the political, but the political was the personal. He had chosen and promised for himself in working for the government. The choice for him therefore was that between betraying one part of himself and betraying another part. And however much he wavered between these alternatives, there was a solid logic to the mind of security, one that could not be expected to take an interest in notions of freedom and development. He had no rights to such things, as he would have had to admit. He might have outwitted the Home Guard, but when it came to questions that mattered, there was no doubt that he had placed himself under military law. There was a war on; there was always a war on now.
The magic of myth and legend has come true in our time. One types the correct incantation on a keyboard, and a display screen comes to life, showing things that never were nor could be. [...] Not all is delight, however [...] One must perform perfectly. The computer resembles the magic of legend in this respect, too. If one character, one pause, of the incantation is not strictly in proper form, the magic doesn't work.
Over hill, over dale, Thorough bush, thorough briar, Over park, over pale, Thorough flood, thorough fire, I do wander everywhere, Swifter than the moon's sphere; And I serve the fairy queen, To dew her orbs upon the green. The cowslips tall her pensioners be; In their gold coats, spots you see; Those be rubies, fairy favours, In their freckles live our savours. I must go seek some dew-drops here, And hang a perl in every cowslip's ear. Farewell, thou lob of spirits, I'll be gone; My queen and all her elves come here anon!
From the beginning, I knew… …that there was nothing wrong with you… …that I can't fix… …with my hands…
Along the shore the cloud waves break, The twin suns sink beneath the lake, The shadows lengthen In Carcosa. Strange is the night where black stars rise, And strange moons circle through the skies But stranger still is Lost Carcosa. Songs that the Hyades shall sing, Where flap the tatters of the King, Must die unheard in Dim Carcosa. Song of my soul, my voice is dead; Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed Shall dry and die in Lost Carcosa.
"Ah! I see it now!" I shrieked. "You have seized the throne and the empire. Woe! woe to you who are crowned with the crown of the King in Yellow!"
CAMILLA: You, sir, should unmask. STRANGER: Indeed? CASSILDA: Indeed it's time. We all have laid aside disguise but you. STRANGER: I wear no mask. CAMILLA: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda.) No mask? No mask!
One of the major mistakes people make is that they think manners are only the expression of happy ideas. There's a whole range of behavior that can be expressed in a mannerly way. That's what civilization is all about – doing it in a mannerly and not an antagonistic way. One of the places we went wrong was the naturalistic Rousseauean movement of the Sixties in which people said, "Why can't you just say what's on your mind?" In civilization there have to be some restraints. If we followed every impulse, we'd be killing one another.
The operating system is another concept that is curious. Operating systems are dauntingly complex and totally unnecessary. It’s a brilliant thing that Bill Gates has done in selling the world on the notion of operating systems. It’s probably the greatest con game the world has ever seen.
An operating system does absolutely nothing for you. As long as you had something — a subroutine called disk driver, a subroutine called some kind of communication support, in the modern world, it doesn’t do anything else. In fact, Windows spends a lot of time with overlays and disk management all stuff like that which are irrelevant. You’ve got gigabyte disks; you’ve got megabyte RAMs. The world has changed in a way that renders the operating system unnecessary.
Compilers are probably the worst code ever written. They are written by someone who has never written a compiler before and will never do so again. The more elaborate the language, the more complex, bug-ridden, and unusable is the compiler. But a simple compiler for a simple language is an essential tool—if only for documentation.
It is an error to divide people into the living and the dead: there are people who are dead-alive, and people who are alive-alive. The dead-alive also write, walk, speak, act. But they make no mistakes; only machines make no mistakes, and they produce only dead things. The alive-alive are constantly in error, in search, in questions, in torment.
Clevinger was dead. That was the basic flaw in his philosophy.
I'd love to go drowning And to stay and to stay But the ocean doesn't want me today I'll go in up to here It can't possibly hurt All they will find is my beer And my shirt
And the great day of wrath has come And here's mud in your big red eye The poker's in the fire And the locusts take the sky And the earth died screaming While I lay dreaming of you
What's he building in there? We have a right to know…
It's very special because, if you can see, the numbers all go to… eleven! Look, right across the board: eleven, eleven, eleven, eleven!
The archive informed the automation. Data structures were built, recipes followed. A local network was built, faster than anything on Straum, but surely safe. Nodes were added, modified by other recipes. The archive was a friendly place, with hierarchies of translation keys that led them along. Straum itself would be famous for this.
Six months passed. A year.
The omniscient view. Not self-aware really. Self-awareness is much over-rated. Most automation works far better as a part of a whole, and even if human- powerful, it does not need to self-know.
Vogon poetry is of course, the third worst in the universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their poet master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem 'Ode To A Small Lump of Green Putty I Found In My Armpit One Midsummer Morning' four of his audience died of internal haemorrhaging and the president of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos is reported to have been 'disappointed' by the poem's reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his twelve-book epic entitled 'My Favourite Bathtime Gurgles' when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save life and civilisation, leapt straight up through his neck and throttled his brain.
The very worst poetry of all perished along with its creator Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Greenbridge, Essex, England, in the destruction of the planet Earth.
I must here declare myself as someone who does not for a moment subscribe to the general view that a willingness to perform oneself is detrimental to the dignity of experimental philosophy. There is, after all, a clear distinction between labour carried out for financial reward, and that done for the improvement of mankind: to put it another way, Lower as a philosopher was fully my equal even if he fell away when he became the practising physician. I think ridiculous of certain professors of anatomy, who find it beneath them to pick up the knife themselves, but merely comment while hired hands do the cutting. Sylvius would never have dreamt of sitting on a dais reading from an authority while others cut — when he taught, the knife was in his hand and the blood spattered his coat. Boyle also did not scruple to perform his own experiments and, on one occasion in my presence, even showed himself willing to anatomise a rat with his very own hands. Nor was he less a gentleman when he had finished. Indeed, in my opinion, his stature was all the greater, for in Boyle wealth, humility and curiosity mingled, and the world is richer for it.
The boy extinguished. Only a place.
Motionless, the Pragma sat facing him, the bare soles of his feet flat against each other, his dark frock scored by the shadows of deep folds, his eyes as empty as the child they watched.
A place without breath or sound. A place of sight alone. A place without before or after . . . almost.
For the first lances of sunlight careered over the glacier, as ponderous as great tree limbs in the wind. Shadows hardened and light gleamed across the Pragma’s ancient skull.
The old man’s left hand forsook his right sleeve, bearing a watery knife. And like a rope in water, his arm pitched outward, fingertips trailing across the blade as the knife swung languidly into the air, the sun skating and the dark shrine plunging across its mirror back . . .
And the place where Kellhus had once existed extended an open hand—the blond hairs like luminous filaments against tanned skin—and grasped the knife from stunned space.
The slap of pommel against palm triggered the collapse of place into little boy. The pale stench of his body. Breath, sound, and lurching thoughts.
I have been legion . . .
In his periphery, he could see the spike of the sun ease from the mountain. He felt drunk with exhaustion. In the recoil of his trance, it seemed all he could hear were the twigs arching and bobbing in the wind, pulled by leaves like a million sails no bigger than his hand. Cause everywhere, but amid countless minute happenings—diffuse, useless.
Now I understand.
Beatrice, looking like a gypsy queen, smoldered at the foot of a statue of a young physical student. At first glance, the laboratory-gowned scientist seemed to be a perfect servant of nothing but truth. At first glance, one was convinced that nothing but truth could please him as he beamed at his test tube. At first glance, one thought that he was as much above the beastly concerns of mankind as the harmoniums in the caves of Mercury. There, at first glance, was a young man without vanity, without lust — and one accepted at its face value the title Salo had engraved on the statue, "Discovery of Atomic Power."
Neither of them noticed the pair of polka-dotted knickers hiding behind the ventilation duct overhead, listening patiently and recording everything.
The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers. She whips a pistol from her knickers. She aims it at the creature's head, And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead. A few weeks later, in the wood, I came across Miss Riding Hood. But what a change! No cloak of red, No silly hood upon her head. She said, "Hello, and do please note My lovely furry wolfskin coat."
Cut 16 Perl Onions into quarters and put them in a grill smoker rack or a perforated pan over a BBQ using hickory wood chips or Special Blend Smoker Bisquettes. Smoke them for an hour and remove once they look golden brown. Let them cool and put them in the fridge (or freezer) until you are ready to create the soup.
16 diced, pre-smoked, Perl Onions 3 tbsp butter 1/4 cup olive oil 2 small garlic cloves, finely minced 1 tsp salt 1 tsp sugar black pepper to taste 1 cup red wine 1/4 cup all purpose flour 6 cups of beef or vegetable stock 1 cup of thick cream (milk can be used as a substitute)
Melt the butter in a pan and then add olive oil. Heat and add the onions to caramelize over a medium-high heat for up to half an hour. Add the garlic, turn down the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and sugar. Now add the red wine and reduce to a jam like consistency. Add the flour, stir well and add the stock a cup at a time. Simmer for 30 minutes, add the cream and heat to almost boiling.
‘I knew it,’ said Rincewind. ‘We're in a strong magical field.’
Twoflower and Hrun looked around the little hollow where they had made their noonday halt. Then they looked at each other.
The horses were quietly cropping the rich grass by the stream. Yellow butterflies skittered among the bushes. There was a smell of thyme and a buzzing of bees. The wild pigs on the spit sizzled gently.
Hrun shrugged and went back to oiling his biceps. They gleamed.
‘Looks alright to me,’ he said.
‘Try tossing a coin,’ said Rincewind.
‘Go on. Toss a coin.’
‘Hokay,’ said Hrun. 'If that gives you any pleasure.’ He reached into his pouch and withdrew a handful of loose change plundered from a dozen realms. With some care he selected a Zchloty leaden quarter-iotum and balanced it on a purple thumbnail.
‘You call,’ he said. ‘Heads or—’ he inspected the obverse with an air of intense concentration, ‘some sort of a fish with legs.’
‘When it's in the air,’ said Rincewind. Hrun grinned and flicked his thumb.
The iotum rose, spinning.
‘Edge,’ said Rincewind, without looking at it.
On their return from Ko'ah, Aitrus had shown her the Book, patiently taking her through page after page, and showing her how such an Age was "made." She had seen at once the differences between this archaic form and the ordinary written speech of the D'ni, noting how it was not merely more elaborate but more specific: a language of precise yet subtle descriptive power. Yet seeing was one thing, believing another. Given all the evidence, her rational mind still fought against accepting it.
`Welcome, comrades!' Burya opened his arms toward the soldier. `Yes it is true! With help from our allies of the Festival, the iron hand of the reactionary junta is about to be overthrown for all time! The new economy is being born; the marginal cost of production has been abolished, and from now on, if any item is produced once, it can be replicated infinitely. From each according to his imagination, to each according to his needs! Join us or better still, bring your fellow soldiers and workers to join us!'
There was a sharp bang from the roof of the Corn Exchange, right at the climax of his impromptu speech; heads turned in alarm. Something had broken inside the spork factory and a stream of rainbow-hued plastic implements fountained toward the sky and clattered to the cobblestones on every side, like a harbinger of the postindustrial society to come. Workers and peasants alike stared in open-mouthed bewilderment at this astounding display of productivity, then bent to scrabble in the muck for the brightly colored sporks of revolution. A volley of shots rang out and Burya Rubenstein raised his hands, grinning wildly, to accept the salute of the soldiers from the Skull Hill garrison.
A victim of collision on the open sea Nobody ever said that life was free Sink, swim, go down with the ship But use your freedom of choice
Once upon a time Trurl the constructor built an eight-story thinking machine. When it was finished, he gave it a coat of white paint, trimmed the edges in lavender, stepped back, squinted, then added a little curlicue on the front and, where one might imagine the forehead to be, a few pale orange polkadots. Extremely pleased with himself, he whistled an air and, as is always done on such occasions, asked it the ritual question of how much is two plus two.
The machine stirred. Its tubes began to glow, its coils warmed up, current coursed through all its circuits like a waterfall, transformers hummed and throbbed, there was a clanging, and a chugging, and such an ungodly racket that Trurl began to think of adding a special mentation muffler. Meanwhile the machine labored on, as if it had been given the most difficult problem in the Universe to solve; the ground shook, the sand slid underfoot from the vibration, valves popped like champagne corks, the relays nearly gave way under the strain. At last, when Trurl had grown extremely impatient, the machine ground to a halt and said in a voice like thunder: SEVEN!
Don't you know? You never split the party Clerics in the back to keep those fighters hale and hearty The wizard in the middle, where he can shed some light And you never let that damn thief out of sightâ€¦
I was busy rescuing the captured maiden when the dragon showed up. Fifty feed of scaled terror glared down at us with smoldering red eyes. Tendrils of smoke drifted out from between fangs larger than daggers. The dragon blocked the only exit from the cave.
I unwrapped the sword which the mysterious cleric had given me. The sword was golden-tinted steel. Its hilt was set with a rainbow collection of precious gems. I shouted my battle cry and charged
My charge caught the dragon by surprise. Its titanic jaws snapped shut inches from my face. I swung the golden sword with both arms. The swordblade bit into the dragon's neck and continued through to the other side. With an earth-shaking crash, the dragon dropped dead at my feet. The magic sword had saved my life and ended the reign of the dragon-tyrant. The countryside was freed and I could return as a hero.
All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And the lie of Authority Whose buildings grope the sky: There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die.
How many roads must a man walk down Before you call him a man? Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail Before she sleeps in the sand? Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannonballs fly Before they're forever banned? The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind The answer is blowin' in the wind How many years can a mountain exist Before it's washed to the sea? Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist Before they're allowed to be free? Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head Pretending he just doesn't see? The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind The answer is blowin' in the wind How many times must a man look up Before he can see the sky? Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have Before he can hear people cry? Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows That too many people have died? The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind The answer is blowin' in the wind
"Doctor Who, hey Doctor Who Doctor Who, in the Tardis Doctor Who, hey Doctor Who Doctor Who, Doc, Doctor Who Doctor Who, Doc, Doctor Who"
Gibberish of course, but every lad in the country under a certain age related instinctively to what it was about. The ones slightly older needed a couple of pints inside them to clear away the mind debris left by the passing years before it made sense. As for girls and our chorus, we think they must have seen it as pure crap. A fact that must have limited to zero our chances of staying at The Top for more than one week.
Stock, Aitkin and Waterman, however, are kings of writing chorus lyrics that go straight to the emotional heart of the 7" single buying girls in this country. Their most successful records will kick into the chorus with a line which encapsulates the entire emotional meaning of the song. This will obviously be used as the title. As soon as Rick Astley hit the first line of the chorus on his debut single it was all over - the Number One position was guaranteed:
"I'm never going to give you up"
"Laboratories," announced Henry. "Kindly don't touch anything."
He led us into a long low brick shed. Outside there was a notice on a piece of board, crudely printed in red paint, which said GRATE SIENCE DISCOVERYS DONE HERE SSSH! BRING YOUR OWN BUKKIT NO PINCHING ANYWUN ELSE'S EXPERRYMENTS CANTEEN OPEN ALL DAY CHIMPS ONLY.
There were a lot of large black monkeys inside, all intently busy on what they were doing. Some of them were pouring stuff out of bottles into buckets and carefully stirring the ensuing mixture; others were at work with glass tubes and jars, blowing and measuring and mixing; others were crouched over long benches with tools and heaps of bits and pieces of metal, cutting and bending and constructing. There was a great deal of noise and chatter. Every now and then one of them would give a whoop of excitement and all the others would gather round and jump up and down cheering and applauding.
"Chimps," said Henry. "They're awfully clever."
Ged had thought that as the prentice of a great mage he would enter at once into the mystery and mastery of power. He would understand the language of the beasts and the speech of the leaves of the forest, he thought, and sway the winds with his word, and learn to change himself into any shape he wished. Maybe he and his master would run together as stags, or fly to Re Albi over the mountain on the wings of eagles.
But it was not so at all. They wandered, first down into the Vale and then gradually south and westward around the mountain, given lodging in little villages or spending the night out in the wilderness, like poor journeyman-sorcerers, or tinkers, or beggars. They entered no mysterious domain. Nothing happened. The mage's oaken staff that Ged had watched at first with eager dread was nothing but a stout staff to walk with. Three days went by and four days went by and still Ogion had not spoken a single charm in Ged's hearing, and had not taught him a single name or rune or spell.
This day - is a day of the greatest solemnity! Spain has a king. He has been found. I am that king. Only this very day did I learn of it. I confess, it came to me suddenly in a flash of lightning. I don't understand how I could have thought and imagined that I was a titular councillor. How could such a wild notion enter my head? It's a good thing no one thought of putting me in an insane asylum. Now everything is laid open before me. Now I see everything as on the palm of my hand. And before, I don't understand, before everything around me was in some sort of fog. And all this happens, I think, because people imagine that the human brain is in the head. Not at all: it is brought by a wind from the direction of the Caspian Sea. First off, I announced to Mavra who I am. When she heard that the king of Spain was standing before her, she clasped her hands and nearly died of fright. The stupid woman had never seen a king of Spain before. However, I endeavoured to calm her down and assured her in gracious words of my benevolence and that I was not at all angry that she sometimes polished my boots poorly. They're benighted folk. It's impossible to tell them about lofty matters. She got frightened because she's convinced that all kings of Spain are like Philip II. But I explained to her that there was no resemblance between me and Philip II, and that I didn't have a single Capuchin . . . I didn't go to the office . . . To hell with it! No friends, you won't lure me there now; I'm not going to copy your vile papers!
A lot of people in our industry haven't had very diverse experiences. So they don't have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one's understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself.
We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.
All art is quite useless.
True, it is strange to live no more on earth, no longer follow the folkways scarecely learned; not to give roses and other especially auspicious things the significance of a human future; to be no more what one was in infinitely anxious hands, and to put aside even one's name, like a broken plaything. Strange, to wish wishes no longer. Strange, to see all that was related fluttering so loosely in space. And being dead is hard, full of catching-up, so that finally one feels a little eternity.– But the living all make the mistake of too sharp discrimination. Often angels (it's said) don't know if they move among the quick or the dead. The eternal current hurtles all ages along with it forever through both realms and drowns their voices in both.
Carter held out a hand towards the middle of the room. `See that fountain?' A ten-metre-wide marble wedding cake, topped with a winged cherub wrestling a serpent, duly appeared. Water cascaded down from a gushing wound in the cherub's neck. Carter said, `It's being computed by redundancies in the sketch of the city. I can extract the results, because I know exactly where to look for them -- but nobody else would have a hope in hell of picking them out.'
Peer walked up to the fountain. Even as he approached, he noticed that the spray was intangible; when he dipped his hand in the water around the base he felt nothing, and the motion he made with his fingers left the foaming surface unchanged. They were spying on the calculations, not interacting with them; the fountain was a closed system.
Carter said, `In your case, of course, nobody will need to know the results. Except you -- and you'll know them because you'll /be/ them.'
If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.
He began to sing, but gave it up after a while. This vast arena of mountains, gleaming like whitely hooded ghosts on every side, did not encourage such ebullience. Presently George glanced at his watch.
'Should be there in an hour,' he called back over his shoulder to Chuck. Then he added, in an afterthought: 'Wonder if the computer's finished its run. It was due about now.'
Chuck didn't reply, so George swung round in his saddle. He could just see Chuck's face, a white oval turned towards the sky.
'Look,' whispered Chuck, and George lifted his eyes to heaven. (There is always a last time for everything.)
Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.
The poor world is almost six thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man died in his own person, videlicit, in a love-cause. Troilus had his brains dashed out with a Grecian club; yet he did what he could to die before, and he is one of the patterns of love. Leander, he would have lived many a fair year, though Hero had turned nun, if it had not been for a hot midsummer night; for, good youth, he went but forth to wash him in the Hellespont and being taken with the cramp was drowned and the foolish coroners of that age found it was 'Hero of Sestos.' But these are all lies: men have died from time to time and worms have eaten them, but not for love.
It's not so much that people don't value the programs after they have them--they do value them. But they're not the sort of thing that would ever catch on if they had to overcome the marketing barrier. (I don't yet know if perl will catch on at all--I'm worried enough about it that I specifically included an awk-to-perl translator just to help it catch on.) Maybe it's all just an inferiority complex. Or maybe I don't like to be mercenary.
So I guess I'd say that the reason some software comes free is that the mechanism for selling it is missing, either from the work environment, or from the heart of the programmer.
At this point I'm no longer working for a company that makes me sign my life away, but by now I'm in the habit. Besides, I still harbor the deep-down suspicion that nobody would pay money for what I write, since most of it just helps you do something better that you could already do some other way. How much money would you personally pay to upgrade from readnews to rn? How much money would you pay for the patch program? As for warp, it's a mere game. And anything you can do with perl you can eventually do with an amazing and totally unreadable conglomeration of awk, sed, sh and C.
At the start of any project, I'm programming primarily to please myself. (The two chief virtues in a programmer are laziness and impatience.) After a while somebody looks over my shoulder and says, "That's neat. It'd be neater if it did such-and-so." So the thing gets neater. Pretty soon (a year or two) I have an rn, a warp, a patch, or a perl. One of these years I'll have a metaconfig.
I then say to myself, "I don't want my life's work to die when this computer is scrapped, so I should let some other people use this. If I ask my company to sell this, it'll never see the light of day, and nobody would pay much for it anyway. If I sell it myself, I'll be in trouble with my company, to whom I signed my life away when I was hired. If I give it away, I can pretend it was worthless in the first place, so my company won't care. In any event, it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission."
So a freely distributable program is born.
This is the last call for flight 1697 with service to Chicago and continuing service to San Francisco. All passengers should already be aboard. If you aren't aboard at this time, you will be denied boarding and your bags will be offloaded.
Over the course of nearly two decades, Ford would spend tens of millions of dollars founding not one but, after the plantation was defastated by leaf blight, two American towns, complete with central squares, sidewalks, indoor plumbing, hospitals, manicured lawns, movie theaters, swimming pools, golf courses, and, of course, Model Ts and As rolling down their paved streets.
Back in America, newspapers kept up their drumbeat celebration, only obliquely referencing reports that things were not progressing as the company had hoped. But there was one note of skepticism. In late 1928, the Washington Post ran an editorial that read in its entirety: "Ford will govern a rubber plantation in Brazil larger than North Carolina. This is the first time he has applied quantity production methods to trouble"
But then Australia is such a difficult country to keep track of. On my first visit, some years ago, I passed the time on the long flight reading a history of Australian politics in the twentieth century, wherein I encountered the startling fact that in 1967 the prime minister, Harold Holt, was strolling along a beach in Victoria when he plunged into the surf and vanished. No trace of the poor man was ever seen again. This seemed doubly astounding to me—first that Australia could just lose a prime minister (I mean, come on) and second that news of this had never reached me.
When the full-grown poet came, Out spake pleased Nature (the round impassive globe, with all its shows of day and night,) saying, He is mine; But out spake too the Soul of man, proud, jealous and unreconciled, Nay he is mine alone; --Then the full-grown poet stood between the two, and took each by the hand; And to-day and ever so stands, as blender, uniter, tightly holding hands, Which he will never release until he reconciles the two, And wholly and joyously blends them.
Skalat maðr rúnar rísta, nema ráða vel kunni. Þat verðr mörgum manni, es of myrkvan staf villisk. Sák á telgðu talkni tíu launstafi ristna. Þat hefr lauka lindi langs ofrtrega fengit.
In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility -- I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world.
And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.
The aliens called the box a "matter generator," but we'd be more inclined to call it a matter duplicator. By connecting switches and potentiometers between the copper posts it was possible to make the box mark off two cubic rectangular areas of volume. Make a certain contact, and these areas would be isolated within perfectly reflective fields. They could be expanded or contracted by altering resistances between other posts. As I worked out the user interface I built a little control panel for the device. It was actually a clever way for the aliens to do things; instead of trying to build controls we could use, they built us an interface we could attach to controls that made sense to us. It could also be automated.
Once you had made the contact that established the shielded volumes, if you made another certain contact the contents of the first volume were copied to the second. The machine copied metal, plastic, steel, and diamond with equal ease. Copies of copies of copies of copies were indistinguishable from the originals at any magnification, even using techniques like X-ray crystallography.
[Neo sees a black cat walk by them, and then a similar black cat walk by them just like the first one]
Neo: Whoa. Deja vu.
[Everyone freezes right in their tracks]
Trinity: What did you just say? Neo: Nothing. Just had a little deja vu. Trinity: What did you see? Cypher: What happened? Neo: A black cat went past us, and then another that looked just like it. Trinity: How much like it? Was it the same cat? Neo: It might have been. I'm not sure. Morpheus: Switch! Apoc! Neo: What is it? Trinity: A deja vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.
The boy called Crow softly rests a hand on my shoulder, and with that he storm vanishes.
"From now on -- no matter what -- you've got to be the world's toughest fifteen-year-old. That's the only way you're going to survive. And in order to do that, you've got to figure out what it means to be tough. You following me?"
I keep my eyes closed and don't reply. I just want to sink off into sleep like this, his hand on my shoulder. I hear the faint flutter of wings.
"You're going to be the world's toughest fifteen-year-old," Crow whispers as I try to fall asleep. Like he was carving the words in a deep blue tattoo on my heart.
(Translated from Japanese by Philip Gabriel)
Candle in hand I stepped in. I do not know whether the quality of air, long undisturbed, is peculiar; to me it has always seemed so, and the damp smell of the old masonry hung in this atmosphere. My candle faintly lighted the bare stone wall that enclosed the stair, the foot of which I could not see. Down I went, and a few turns brought me to the stone floor. Here was another door, of the simple, old, oak kind, deep sunk in the thickness of the wall. The large end of the key fitted this. The lock was stiff; I set the candle down upon the stair, and applied both hands; it turned with difficulty, and as it revolved, uttered a shriek that alarmed me for my secret.
For some minutes I did not move. In a little time, however, I took courage, and opened the door. The night-air floating in puffed out the candle. There was a thicket of holly and underwood, as dense as a jungle, close about the door. I should have been in pitch-darkness, were it not that through the topmost leaves there twinkled, here and there, a glimmer of moonshine.
Softly, lest any one should have opened his window at the sound of the rusty bolt, I struggled through this till I gained a view of the open grounds. Here I found that the brushwood spread a good way up the park, uniting with the wood that approached the little temple I have described.
`How the creatures order one about, and make one repeat lessons!' thought Alice; `I might as well be at school at once.' However, she got up, and began to repeat it, but her head was so full of the Lobster Quadrille, that she hardly knew what she was saying, and the words came very queer indeed:--
"'Tis the voice of the Lobster; I heard him declare, "You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair." As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.'
`That's different from what I used to say when I was a child,' said the Gryphon.
`Well, I never heard it before,' said the Mock Turtle; `but it sounds uncommon nonsense.'
Alice said nothing; she had sat down with her face in her hands, wondering if anything would ever happen in a natural way again.
`I should like to have it explained,' said the Mock Turtle.
`She can't explain it,' said the Gryphon hastily. `Go on with the next verse.'
`But about his toes?' the Mock Turtle persisted. `How could he turn them out with his nose, you know?'
`It's the first position in dancing.' Alice said; but was dreadfully puzzled by the whole thing, and longed to change the subject.
Look at Crowley, doing 110 mph on the M40 heading towards Oxfordshire. Even the most resolutely casual observer would notice a number of strange things about him. The clenched teeth, for example, or the dull red glow coming from behind his sunglasses. And the car. The car was a definite hint.
Crowley had started the journey in his Bentley, and he was dammned if he wasn't going to finish it in the Bentley as well. Not that even the kind of car buff who owns his own pair of motoring goggles would have been able to tell it was a vintage Bentley. Not any more. They wouldn't have been able to tell that it was a Bentley. They would only offer fifty-fifty that it had ever even been a car.
There was no paint left on it, for a start. It might still have been black, where it wasn't a rusty, smudged reddish-brown, but this was a dull charcoal black. It traveled in its own ball of flame, like a space capsule making a particularly difficult re-entry.
There was a thin skin of crusted, melted rubber left around the metal wheel rims, but seeing that the wheel rims were still somhow riding an inch above the road surface this didn't seem to make an awful lot of difference to the suspension.
It should have fallen apart miles back.
We deal in the moral equivalent of black holes, where the normal laws - the rules of right and wrong that people imagine apply everywhere else in the universe - break down; beyond those metaphysical event-horizons, there exist ... special circumstances.
And if anyone shall come to you and say that he knows how to construct bridges and that perhaps a time will come when you will wish to avail yourself of his science in order to cross over a river, out with him! Out with the engineer! Rivers will be crossed by wading or swimming them, even if half the crusaders drown themselves. Let the engineer go off and build bridges somewhere else, where they are badly wanted. For those who go in quest of the sepulchre, faith is bridge enough.
The heat still remained at quite a supportable degree. With an involuntary shudder, I reflected on what the heat must have been when the volcano of Sneffels was pouring its smoke, flames, and streams of boiling lava -- all of which must have come up by the road we were now following. I could imagine the torrents of hot seething stone darting on, bubbling up with accompaniments of smoke, steam, and sulphurous stench!
"Only to think of the consequences," I mused, "if the old volcano were once more to set to work."
Music oft hath such a charm To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.
You cannot eat breakfast all day, Nor is it the act of a sinner, When breakfast is taken away, To turn his attention to dinner; And it's not in the range of belief, To look upon him as a glutton, Who, when he is tired of beef, Determines to tackle the mutton. Ah! But this I am willing to say, If it will appease her sorrow, I'll marry this lady today, And I'll marry the other tomorrow!
Now for sugar, -- nay, our plan Tolerates no work of man. Hurry, then, ye golden bees; Fetch your clearest honey, please, Garnered on a Yorkshire moor, While the last larks sing and soar, From the heather-blossoms sweet Where sea-breeze and sunshine meet, And the Augusts mask as Junes, -- Eleanor makes macaroons!
Pheasant is pleasant, of course, And terrapin, too, is tasty, Lobster I freely endorse, In pate or patty or pasty. But there's nothing the matter with butter, And nothing the matter with jam, And the warmest greetings I utter To the ham and the yam and the clam. For they're food, All food, And I think very fondly of food. Through I'm broody at times When bothered by rhymes, I brood On food.
I saw a huge steam roller, It blotted out the sun. The people all lay down, lay down; They did not try to run. My love and I, we looked amazed Upon the gory mystery. 'Lie down, lie down!' the people cried. 'The great machine is history!' My love and I, we ran away, The engine did not find us. We ran up to a mountain top, Left history far behind us. Perhaps we should have stayed and died, But somehow we don't think so. We went to see where history'd been, And my, the dead did stink so.
CPUs. Cayce Pollard Units. That's what Damien calls the clothing she wears. CPUs are either black, white, or gray, and ideally seem to have come into this world without human intervention.
What people take for relentless minimalism is a side effect of too much exposure to the reactor-cores of fashion. This has resulted in a remorseless paring-down of what she can and will wear. She is, literally, allergic to fashion. She can only tolerate things that could have been worn, to a general lack of comment, during any year between 1945 and 2000. She's a design-free zone, a one-woman school of and whose very austerity periodically threatens to spawn its own cult.
The front page opens, familiar as a friend's living room. A frame-grab from #48 serves as backdrop, dim and almost monochrome, no characters in view. This is one of the sequences that generate comparisons with Tarkovsky. She only knows Tarkovsky from stills, really, though she did once fall asleep during a screening of The Stalker, going under on an endless pan, the camera aimed straight down, in close-up, at a puddle on a ruined mosaic floor. But she is not one of those who think that much will be gained by analysis of the maker's imagined influences. The cult of the footage is rife with subcults, claiming every possible influence. Truffaut, Peckinpah -- The Peckinpah people, among the least likely, are still waiting for the guns to be drawn.
"Now suppose," chortled Dr. Breed, enjoying himself, "that there were many possible ways in which water could crystallize, could freeze. Suppose that the sort of ice we skate upon and put into highballs -- what we might call ice-one -- is only one of several types of ice. Suppose water always froze as ice-one on Earth because it had never had a seed to teach it how to form ice-two, ice-three, ice-four ...? And suppose," he rapped on his desk with his old hand again, "that there were one form, which we will call ice-nine -- a crystal as hard as this desk -- with a melting point of, let us say, one-hundred degrees Fahrenheit, or, better still, a melting point of one-hundred- and-thirty degrees."
San Lorenzo was fifty miles long and twenty miles wide, I learned from the supplement to the New York Sunday Times. Its population was four hundred, fifty thousand souls, "...all fiercely dedicated to the ideals of the Free World."
Its highest point, Mount McCabe, was eleven thousand feet above sea level. Its capital was Bolivar, "...a strikingly modern city built on a harbor capable of sheltering the entire United States Navy." The principal exports were sugar, coffee, bananas, indigo, and handcrafted novelties.
Which brings me to the Bokononist concept of a wampeter. A wampeter is the pivot of a karass. No karass is without a wampeter, Bokonon tells us, just as no wheel is without a hub. Anything can be a wampeter: a tree, a rock, an animal, an idea, a book, a melody, the Holy Grail. Whatever it is, the members of its karass revolve about it in the majestic chaos of a spiral nebula. The orbits of the members of a karass about their common wampeter are spiritual orbits, naturally. It is souls and not bodies that revolve. As Bokonon invites us to sing:
Around and around and around we spin, With feet of lead and wings of tin . . .
'Please would you tell me,' said Alice, a little timidly, for she was not quite sure whether it was good manners for her to speak first, 'why your cat grins like that?'
'It's a Cheshire cat,' said the Duchess, 'and that's why. Pig!'
She said the last word with such sudden violence that Alice quite jumped; but she saw in another moment that it was addressed to the baby, and not to her, so she took courage, and went on again:--
'I didn't know that Cheshire cats always grinned; in fact, I didn't know that cats COULD grin.'
'They all can,' said the Duchess; 'and most of 'em do.'
'Not QUITE right, I'm afraid,' said Alice, timidly; 'some of the words have got altered.'
'It is wrong from beginning to end,' said the Caterpillar decidedly, and there was silence for some minutes.
'It was much pleasanter at home,' thought poor Alice, 'when one wasn't always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits. I almost wish I hadn't gone down that rabbit-hole--and yet--and yet--it's rather curious, you know, this sort of life! I do wonder what can have happened to me! When I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one!
At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of authority among them, called out, 'Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! I'LL soon make you dry enough!' They all sat down at once, in a large ring, with the Mouse in the middle. Alice kept her eyes anxiously fixed on it, for she felt sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get dry very soon.
'Ahem!' said the Mouse with an important air, 'are you all ready? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you please! "William the Conqueror, whose cause was favoured by the pope, was soon submitted to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria --"'
Available on CPAN since 2010-04-01.
So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.
There was nothing so VERY remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so VERY much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, 'Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!' (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually TOOK A WATCH OUT OF ITS WAISTCOAT-POCKET, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.
A little child, a limber elf, Singing, dancing to itself, A fairy thing with red round cheeks, That always finds, and never seeks, Makes such a vision to the sight As fills a father's eyes with light; And pleasures flow in so thick and fast Upon his heart, that he at last Must needs express his love's excess With words of unmeant bitterness. Perhaps 'tis pretty to force together Thoughts so all unlike each other; To mutter and mock a broken charm, To dally with wrong that does no harm. Perhaps 'tis tender too and pretty At each wild word to feel within A sweet recoil of love and pity. And what, if in a world of sin (O sorrow and shame should this be true!) Such giddiness of heart and brain Comes seldom save from rage and pain, So talks as it's most used to do.
And you don't suppose that I went into it headlong like a fool? I went into it like a wise man, and that was just my destruction. And you mustn't suppose that I didn't know, for instance, that if I began to question myself whether I had the right to gain power -- I certainly hadn't the right -- or that if I asked myself whether a human being is a louse it proved that it wasn't so for me, though it might be for a man who would go straight to his goal without asking questions.... If I worried myself all those days, wondering whether Napoleon would have done it or not, I felt clearly of course that I wasn't Napoleon.
"Say -- I'm going in a swimming, I am. Don't you wish you could? But of course you'd druther work -- wouldn't you? Course you would!"
Tom contemplated the boy a bit, and said: "What do you call work?"
"Why ain't that work?"
Tom resumed his whitewashing, and answered carelessly: "Well, maybe it is, and maybe it aint. All I know, is, it suits Tom Sawyer."
"Oh come, now, you don't mean to let on that you like it?"
The brush continued to move. "Like it? Well I don't see why I oughtn't to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?"
That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth -- stepped back to note the effect -- added a touch here and there-criticised the effect again -- Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently he said: "Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little."
The streets were pretty quiet, which was nice. They're always quiet here at that time: you have to be wearing a black jacket to be out on the streets between seven and nine in the evening, and not many people in the area have black jackets. It's just one of those things. I currently live in Colour Neighbourhood, which is for people who are heavily into colour. All the streets and buildings are set for instant colourmatch: as you walk down the road they change hue to offset whatever you're wearing. When the streets are busy it's kind of intense, and anyone prone to epileptic seizures isn't allowed to live in the Neighbourhood, however much they're into colour.
Milo had been caught red-handed in the act of plundering his countrymen, and, as a result, his stock had never been higher. He proved good as his word when a rawboned major from Minnesota curled his lip in rebellious disavowal and demanded his share of the syndicate Milo kept saying everybody owned. Milo met the challenge by writing the words "A Share" on the nearest scrap of paper and handing it away with a virtuous disdain that won the envy and admiration of almost everyone who knew him. His glory was at a peak, and Colonel Cathcart, who knew and admired his war record, was astonished by the deferential humility with which Milo presented himself at Group Headquarters and made his fantastic appeal for more hazardous assignment.
Whispers of an "evil power" were heard in lines at dairy shops, in streetcars, stores, arguments, kitchens, suburban and long-distance trains, at stations large and small, in dachas and on beaches. Needless to say, truly mature and cultured people did not tell these stories about an evil power's visit to the capital. In fact, they even made fun of them and tried to talk sense into those who told them. Nevertheless, facts are facts, as they say, and cannot simply be dismissed without explanation: somebody had visited the capital. The charred cinders of Griboyedov alone, and many other things besides, confirmed it. Cultured people shared the point of view of the investigating team: it was the work of a gang of hypnotists and ventriloquists magnificently skilled in their art.
'Briefly, sir, I am the Permanent Under-Secretary of State, known as the Permanent Secretary. Woolley here is your Principal Private Secretary. I, too, have a Principal Private Secretary, and he is the Principal Private Secretary to the Permanent Secretary. Directly responsible to me are ten Deputy Secretaries, eighty-seven Under Secretaries and two hundred and nineteen Assistant Secretaries. Directly responsible to the Principal Private Secretaries are plain Private Secretaries. The Prime Minister will be appointing two Parliamentary Under-Secretaries and you will be appointing your own Parliamentary Private Secretary.'
'Can they all type?' I joked.
'None of us can type, Minister,' replied Sir Humphrey smoothly. 'Mrs McKay types - she is your Secretary.'
I couldn't tell whether or not he was joking. 'What a pity,' I said. 'We could have opened an agency.'
Sir Humphrey and Bernard laughed. 'Very droll, sir,' said Sir Humphrey. 'Most amusing, sir,' said Bernard. Were they genuinely amused at my wit, or just being rather patronising? 'I suppose they all say that, do they?' I ventured.
Sir Humphrey reassured me on that. 'Certainly not, Minister,' he replied. 'Not quite all.'
He would often declare, in speaking his thoughts upon the subject, that he did not conceive how the greatest family in England could stand it out against an uninterrupted succession of six or seven short noses.--And for the contrary reason, he would generally add, That it must be one of the greatest problems in civil life, where the same number of long and jolly noses, following one another in a direct line, did not raise and hoist it up into the best vacancies in the kingdom.
Pre-announced on 2007-07-07 by Rafael Garcia-Suarez, available on CPAN with same date, but never actually announced.
This word flip was weird. Every recording date of McClintic's he'd gotten into the habit of talking electricity with the audio men and technicians of the studio. McClintic once couldn't have cared less about electricity, but now it seemed if that was helping him reach a bigger audience, some digging, some who would never dig, but all paying and those royalties keeping the Triumph in gas and McClintic in J. Press suits, then McClintic ought to be grateful to electricity, ought maybe to learn a little more about it. So he'd picked up some here and there, and one day last summer he got around to talking stochastic music and digital computers with one technician. Out of the conversation had come Set/Reset, which was getting to be a signature for the group. He had found out from this sound man about a two-triode circuit called a flip-flop, which when it turned on could be one of two ways, depending on which tube was conducting and which was cut off: set or reset, flip or flop.
"And that," the man said, "can be yes or no, or one or zero. And that is what you might call one of the basic units, or specialized `cells' in a big `electronic brain.' "
"Crazy," said McClintic, having lost him back there someplace. But one thing that did occur to him was if a computer's brain could go flip or flop, why so could a musician's. As long as you were flop, everything was cool. But where did the trigger-pulse come from to make you flip?
Aren't you supposed to have a pony?
What of October, that ambiguous month
Frank and I, unlike the civil servants, were still puzzled that such a proposal as the Europass could even be seriously under consideration by the FCO. We can both see clearly that it is wonderful ammunition for the anti-Europeans. I asked Humphrey if the Foreign Office doesn't realise how damaging this would be to the European ideal?
'I'm sure they do, Minister, he said. That's why they support it.'
This was even more puzzling, since I'd always been under the impression that the FO is pro-Europe. 'Is it or isn't it?' I asked Humphrey.
'Yes and no,' he replied of course, 'if you'll pardon the expression. The Foreign Office is pro-Europe because it is really anti-Europe. In fact the Civil Service was united in its desire to make sure the Common Market didn't work. That's why we went into it.'
This sounded like a riddle to me. I asked him to explain further. And basically his argument was as follows: Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last five hundred years - to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Italians and Germans. [The Dutch rebellion against Phillip II of Spain, the Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, and the Second World War - Ed.]
In other words, divide and rule. And the Foreign Office can see no reason to change when it has worked so well until now.
I was aware of this, naturally, but I regarded it as ancient history. Humphrey thinks that it is, in fact, current policy. It was necessary for us to break up the EEC, he explained, so we had to get inside. We had previously tried to break it up from the outside, but that didn't work. [A reference to our futile and short-lived involvement in EFTA, the European Free Trade Association, founded in 1960 and which the UK left in 1972 - Ed.] Now that we're in, we are able to make a complete pig's breakfast out of it. We've now set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch... and the Foreign office is terribly happy. It's just like old time.
I was staggered by all of this. I thought that the all of us who are publicly pro-European believed in the European ideal. I said this to Sir Humphrey, and he simply chuckled.
So I asked him: if we don't believe in the European Ideal, why are we pushing to increase the membership?
'Same reason,' came the reply. 'It's just like the United Nations. The more members it has, the more arguments you can stir up, and the more futile and impotent it becomes.'
This all strikes me as the most appalling cynicism, and I said so.
Sir Humphrey agreed completely. 'Yes Minister. We call it diplomacy. It's what made Britain great, you know.'
There was silence in the office. I didn't know what we were going to do about the four hundred new people supervising our economy drive or the four hundred new people for the Bureaucratic Watchdog Office, or anything! I simply sat and waited and hoped that my head would stop thumping and that some idea would be suggested by someone sometime soon.
Sir Humphrey obliged. 'Minister... if we were to end the economy drive and close the Bureaucratic Watchdog Office we could issue an immediate press announcement that you had axed eight hundred jobs.' He had obviously thought this out carefully in advance, for at this moment he produced a slim folder from under his arm. 'If you'd like to approve this draft...'
I couldn't believe the impertinence of the suggestion. Axed eight hundred jobs? 'But no one was ever doing these jobs,' I pointed out incredulously. 'No one's been appointed yet.'
'Even greater economy,' he replied instantly. 'We've saved eight hundred redundancy payments as well.'
'But...' I attempted to explain '... that's just phony. It's dishonest, it's juggling with figures, it's pulling the wool over people's eyes.'
'A government press release, in fact.' said Humphrey.
A jumbo jet touched down, with BURANDAN AIRWAYS written on the side. I was hugely impressed. British Airways are having to pawn their Concordes, and here is this little tiny African state with its own airline, jumbo jets and all.
I asked Bernard how many planes Burandan Airways had. 'None,' he said.
I told him not to be silly and use his eyes. 'No Minister, it belongs to Freddie Laker,' he said. 'They chartered it last week and repainted it specially.' Apparently most of the Have-Nots (I mean, LDCs) do this - at the opening of the UN General Assembly the runways of Kennedy Airport are jam-packed with phoney flag-carriers. 'In fact,' said Bernard with a sly grin, 'there was one 747 that belonged to nine different African airlines in a month. They called it the mumbo-jumbo.'
While we watched nothing much happening on the TV except the mumbo-jumbo taxiing around Prestwick and the Queen looking a bit chilly, Bernard gave me the next day's schedule and explained that I was booked on the night sleeper from King's Cross to Edinburgh because I had to vote in a three-line whip at the House tonight and would have to miss the last plane. Then the commentator, in that special hushed BBC voice used for any occasion with which Royalty is connected, announced reverentially that we were about to catch our first glimpse of President Selim.
And out of the plane stepped Charlie. My old friend Charlie Umtali. We were at LSE together. Not Selim Mohammed at all, but Charlie.
Bernard asked me if I were sure. Silly question. How could you forget a name like Charlie Umtali?
I sent Bernard for Sir Humphrey, who was delighted to hear that we now know something about our official visitor.
Bernard's official brief said nothing. Amazing! Amazing how little the FCO has been able to find out. Perhaps they were hoping it would all be on the car radio. All the brief says is that Colonel Selim Mohammed had converted to Islam some years ago, they didn't know his original name, and therefore knew little of his background.
I was able to tell Humphrey and Bernard /all/ about his background. Charlie was a red-hot political economist, I informed them. Got the top first. Wiped the floor with everyone.
Bernard seemed relieved. 'Well that's all right then.'
'Why?' I enquired.
'I think Bernard means,' said Sir Humphrey helpfully, 'that he'll know how to behave if he was at an English University. Even if it was the LSE.' I never know whether or not Humphrey is insulting me intentionally.
Humphrey was concerned about Charlie's political colour. 'When you said that he was red-hot, were you speaking politically?'
In a way I was. 'The thing about Charlie is that you never quite know where you are with him. He's the sort of chap who follows you into a revolving door and comes out in front.'
'No deeply held convictions?' asked Sir Humphrey.
'No. The only thing Charlie was committed too was Charlie.'
'Ah, I see. A politician, Minister.'
It's not that easy bein' green Having to spend each day the color of the leaves When I think it could be nicer being red or yellow or gold Or something much more colorful like that It's not easy bein' green It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're Not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water Or stars in the sky But green's the color of Spring And green can be cool and friendly-like And green can be big like an ocean Or important like a mountain Or tall like a tree When green is all there is to be It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why? Wonder I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful And I think it's what I want to be
Greenback: And the world is mine, all mine. Muhahahahaha. See to it! Stiletto: Si, Barone. Subito, Barone.
And now, imagine the triumphant procession: Peter at the head; after him the hunters leading the wolf; and winding up the procession, grandfather and the cat.
Grandfather shook his head discontentedly: "Well, and if Peter hadn't caught the wolf? What then?"
And now this is how things stood: The cat was sitting on one branch. The bird on another, not too close to the cat. And the wolf walked round and round the tree, looking at them with greedy eyes.
In the meantime, Peter, without the slightest fear, stood behind the gate, watching all that was going on. He ran home,got a strong rope and climbed up the high stone wall.
One of the branches of the tree, around which the wolf was walking, stretched out over the wall.
Grabbing hold of the branch, Peter lightly climbed over on to the tree. Peter said to the bird: "Fly down and circle round the wolf's head, only take care that he doesn't catch you!".
The bird almost touched the wolf's head with its wings, while the wolf snapped angrily at him from this side and that.
How that bird teased the wolf, how that wolf wanted to catch him! But the bird was clever and the wolf simply couldn't do anything about it.
"Hallo, Pooh," said Piglet, giving a jump of surprise. "I knew it was you."
"So did I,", said Pooh. "What are you doing?"
"I'm planting a haycorn, Pooh, so that it can grow up into an oak-tree, and have lots of haycorns just outside the front door instead of having to walk miles and miles, do you see, Pooh?"
"Supposing it doesn't?" said Pooh.
"It will, because Christopher Robin says it will, so that's why I'm planting it."
"Well," aid Pooh, "if I plant a honeycomb outside my house, then it will grow up into a beehive."
Piglet wasn't quite sure about this.
"Or a /piece/ of a honeycomb," said Pooh, "so as not to waste too much. Only then I might only get a piece of a beehive, and it might be the wrong piece, where the bees were buzzing and not hunnying. Bother"
Piglet agreed that that would be rather bothering.
"Besides, Pooh, it's a very difficult thing, planting unless you know how to do it," he said; and he put the acorn in the hole he had made, and covered it up with earth, and jumped on it.
"Hallo!" said Piglet, "whare are /you/ doing?"
"Hunting," said Pooh.
"Tracking something," said Winnie-the-Pooh very mysteriously.
"Tracking what?" said Piglet, coming closer.
"That's just what I ask myself, I ask myself, What?"
"What do you think you'll answer?"
"I shall have to wait until I catch up with it," said Winnie-the-Pooh. "Now, look there." He pointed to the ground in front of him. "What do you see there?"
"Track," said Piglet. "Paw-marks." He gave a little squeak of excitement. "Oh, Pooh!" Do you think it's a--a--a Woozle?"
Yews are relatively slow growing trees, widely used in landscaping and ornamental horticulture. They have flat, dark-green needles, reddish bark, and bear seeds with red arils, which are eaten by thrushes, waxwings and other birds, dispersing the hard seeds undamaged in their droppings. Yew wood is reddish brown (with white sapwood), and very hard. It was traditionally used to make bows, especially the English longbow.
In England, the Common Yew (Taxus baccata, also known as English Yew) is often found in churchyards. It is sometimes suggested that these are placed there as a symbol of long life or trees of death, and some are likely to be over 3,000 years old. It is also suggested that yew trees may have a pre-Christian association with old pagan holy sites, and the Christian church found it expedient to use and take over existing sites. Another explanation is that the poisonous berries and foliage discourage farmers and drovers from letting their animals wander into the burial grounds. The yew tree is a frequent symbol in the Christian poetry of T.S. Eliot, especially his Four Quartets.
Beeches are trees of the Genus Fagus, family Fagaceae, including about ten species in Europe, Asia, and North America. The leaves are entire or sparsely toothed. The fruit is a small, sharply-angled nut, borne in pairs in spiny husks. The beech most commonly grown as an ornamental or shade tree is the European beech (Fagus sylvatica).
The southern beeches belong to a different but related genus, Nothofagus. They are found in Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, New Caledonia and South America.
The Pedunculate Oak is called the Common Oak in Britain, and is also often called the English Oak in other English speaking countries It is a large deciduous tree to 25-35m tall (exceptionally to 40m), with lobed and sessile (stalk-less) leaves. Flowering takes place in early to mid spring, and their fruit, called "acorns", ripen by autumn of the same year. The acorns are pedunculate (having a peduncle or acorn-stalk) and may occur singly, or several acorns may occur on a stalk.
It forms a long-lived tree, with a large widespreading head of rugged branches. While it may naturally live to an age of a few centuries, many of the oldest trees are pollarded or coppiced, both pruning techniques that extend the tree's potential lifespan, if not its health.
Within its native range it is valued for its importance to insects and other wildlife. Numerous insects live on the leaves, buds, and in the acorns. The acorns form a valuable food resource for several small mammals and some birds, notably Jays Garrulus glandarius.
It is planted for forestry, and produces a long-lasting and durable heartwood, much in demand for interior and furniture work.
I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots; The curtain-cord she likes to wind, and tie it into sailor-knots. She sits upon the window-sill, or anything that's smooth and flat: She sits and sits and sits and sits -- and that's what makes a Gumbie Cat! But when the day's hustle and bustle is done, Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun. She thinks that the cockroaches just need employment To prevent them from idle and wanton destroyment. So she's formed, from that a lot of disorderly louts, A troop of well-disciplined helpful boy-scouts, With a purpose in life and a good deed to do-- And she's even created a Beetles' Tattoo. So for Old Gumbie Cats let us now give three cheers -- On whom well-ordered households depend, it appears.
Macavity's a Mystery Cat: he's called the Hidden Paw -- For he's the master criminal who can defy the Law. He's the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad's despair: For when they reach the scene of crime -- /Macavity's not there/! Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity, He's broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity. His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare, And when you reach the scene of crime -- /Macavity's not there/! You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air -- But I tell you once and once again, /Macavity's not there/!
There's a whisper down the line at 11.39 When the Night Mail's ready to depart, Saying 'Skimble where is Skimble has he gone to hunt the thimble? We must find him of the train can't start.' All the guards and all the porters and the stationmaster's daughters They are searching high and low, Saying 'Skimble where is Skimble for unless he's very nimble Then the Night Mail just can't go' At 11.42 then the signal's overdue And the passengers are frantic to a man-- Then Skimble will appear and he'll saunter to the rear: He's been busy in the luggage van! He gives one flash of his glass-green eyes And the signal goes 'All Clear!' And we're off at last of the northern part Of the Northern Hemisphere!
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams, Wandering by lonely sea-breakers, And sitting by desolate streams; -- World-losers and world-forsakers, On whom the pale moon gleams: Yet we are the movers and shakers Of the world for ever, it seems.
There may be trouble ahead, But while there's music and moonlight, And love and romance, Let's face the music and dance. Before the fiddlers have fled, Before they ask us to pay the bill, And while we still have that chance, Let's face the music and dance. Soon, we'll be without the moon, Humming a different tune, and then, There may be teardrops to shed, So while there's music and moonlight, And love and romance, Let's face the music and dance.
Passage, immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away O soul! hoist instantly the anchor! Cut the hawsers - hall out - shake out every sail! Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough? Have we not grovel'd here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes? Have we not darken'd and dazed ourselves with books long enough? Sail forth - steer for the deep waters only, Reckless O soul, exploring, I with the and thou with me, For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all. O my brave soul! O farther farther sail! O daring job, but safe! are they not all the seas of God? O farther, farther, farther sail!
It's fun to charter an accountant And sail the wide accountan-cy, To find, explore the funds offshore And skirt the shoals of bankruptcy.
They went to sea in a Sieve, they did, In a Sieve they went to sea: In spite of all their friends could say, On a winter's morn, on a stormy day, In a Sieve they went to sea! And when the Sieve turned round and round, And everyone cried, "You'll all be drowned!" They cried aloud, "Our Sieve ain't big, But we don't care a button, we don't care a fig! In a Sieve we'll go to sea!" Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.
No matter what she did with her hair it took about three minutes for it to tangle itself up again, like a garden hosepipe in a shed [Footnote: Which, no matter how carefully coiled, will always uncoil overnight and tie the lawnmower to the bicycles].
Grand Viziers were /always/ scheming megalomaniacs. It was probably in the job description: "Are you a devious, plotting, unreliable madman? Ah, good, then you can be my most trusted minister."
Lord Hong had a mind like a knife, although possibly a knife with a curved blade.
Many an ancient lord's last words had been, "You can't kill me because I've got magic aaargh."
Cohen was familiar with city gates. He'd broken down a number in his time, by battering ram, siege gun, and on one occasion with his head.
But the gates of Hunghung were pretty damn good gates. They weren't like the gates of Ankh-Morpork, which were usually wide open to attract the spending customer and whose concession to defense was the sign "Thank You For Not Attacking Our City. Bonum Diem." These things were big and made of metal and there was a guardhouse and a squad of unhelpful men in black armor.
There was the faint sound of footsteps. "Chap with a whip got as far as the big sharp spikes last week," said the low priest. There was a sound like the flushing of a very old dry lavatory. The footsteps stopped. The High Priest smiled to himself. "Right," he said. "See your two pebbles and raise you two pebbles." The low priest threw down his cards. "Double Onion," he said. The High Priest looked down suspiciously. The low priest consulted a scrap of paper. "That's three hundred thousand, nine hundred and sixty-four pebbles you owe me," he said. There was the sound of footsteps. The priests exchanged glances. "Haven't had one for poisoned-dart alley for quite some time," said the High Priest. "Five says he makes it", said the low priest. "You're on." There was a faint clatter of metal points on stone. "It's a shame to take your pebbles." There were footsteps again.
Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.
His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, "You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink."
"What happens next?" asked Twoflower.
Hrun screwed a finger in his ear and inspected it absently.
"Oh,", he said, "I expect in a minute the door will be flung back and I'll be dragged off to some sort of temple arena where I'll fight maybe a couple of giant spiders and an eight-foot slave from the jungles of Klatch and then I'll rescue some kind of a princess from the altar and then I'll kill off a few guards or whatever and then this girl will show me the secret passage out of the place and we'll liberate a couple of horses and escape with the treasure." Hrun leaned his head back on his hands and looked at the ceiling, whistling tunelessly.
"All that?" said Twoflower.
The Librarian had seen many weird things in his time, but that had to be the 57th strangest. [footnote: he had a tidy mind]
When great or unexpected events fall out upon the stage of this sublunary word--the mind of man, which is an inquisitive kind of a substance, naturally takes a flight, behind the scenes, to see what is the cause and first spring of them--The search was not long in this instance.
"Pray, my dear", quoth my mother, "have you not forgot to wind up the clock?"
`What have I got in my pocket?' he said aloud. He was talking to himself, but Gollum thought it was a riddle, and he was frightfully upset.
`Not fair! not fair!' he hissed. `It isn't fair, my precious, is it, to ask us what it's got in its nassty little pocketses?'
Bilbo seeing what had happened and having nothing better to ask stuck to his question, `What have I got in my pocket?' he said louder.
`S-s-s-s-s,' hissed Gollum. `It must give us three guesseses, my precious, three guesseses.'
No announcement available.
The dragon is withered, His bones are now crumbled; His armour is shivered, His splendour is humbled! Though sword shall be rusted, And throne and crown perish With strength that men trusted And wealth that they cherish, Here grass is still growing, And leaves are a yet swinging, The white water flowing, And elves are yet singing Come! Tra-la-la-lally! Come back to the valley.
The monkeys called the place their city, and pretended to despise the Jungle-People because they lived in the forest. And yet they never knew what the buildings were made for nor how to use them. They would sit in circles on the hall of the king's council chamber, and scratch for fleas and pretend to be men; or they would run in and out of the roofless houses and collect pieces of plaster and old bricks in a corner, and forget where they had hidden them, and fight and cry in scuffling crowds, and then break off to play up and down the terraces of the king's garden, where they would shake the rose trees and the oranges in sport to see the fruit and flowers fall.
Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves; here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labelled 'ORANGE MARMALADE', but to her great disappointment it was empty: she did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it.
't was 16 years ago today Larry taught us a new game of lazyness, impatience, and hubris Happy birthday, Perl!