This century, and to a lesser degree the two ones, have been different. Within a single lifetime, much of the world's population has seen its lifestyle and whole way of living altered beyond recognition. Even in civilized countries, people who rarely saw an automobile as a child can watch the space shuttle and regularly use the computational machines which can effortlessly duplicate the functions of hundreds of scribes of a century past.
The technology which has brought forth these changes affects the activities of essentially all civilized areas of the world. It has brought about what might be called a democratization of civilization and luxury. A Roman emperor at the time of Christ lived a reasonably comfortable existence although even his lifespan was short owing to the lack of modern medicines. To attain this comfortable life, however, he was dependent on the ministrations of countless servants and slaves. Many of the same ammenities can be provided today by relatively low-cost machines -- hot and cold running water, air conditioning, modern cooking facilities, worldwide communication.
Within the past few years, one of the major technological revolutions has been the microchip and the information explosion which it is producing. The movement of physical entities such as paper or even a person's body has become less important. This change will accelerate as the culture assimilates these potential changes.
What will be next? Perhaps space. We have the capability to expand our horizons beyond the surface of the earth and permanently deny the prophesies of the Limits to Growthers through space colonization and manufacturing. Whether this will be done is not a matter of technology. It is a matter of will.
Change is ubiquitous. It will happen in spite of the problems associated with it. We can only control its direction.
You send in $10,000, and we send you 25 words or less.
The Dartmouth Review
Young normal tigers do not eat people. If eaten by a tiger you
may rest assured he was abnormal.
Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level.
There are three ways to get something done: do it yourself, hire
someone, or forbid your kids to do it.
A successful surgeon should be a man who, when asked to name the
three best surgeons in the world, would have difficulty deciding
on the other two.
You're getting old when you see a girl who looks like someone
you used to know, and it turns out to be her daughter.
Made by General Motors, on order from Sears Roebuck.
Richard Condon, on American cities
Generally the theories we believe we call facts, and the facts
we disbelieve we call theories.
America is the only nation in history which miraculously has
gone directly from barbarism to degeneration, without the usual
interval of civilization.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from
Arthur C. Clarke
It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival
Arthur C. Clarke
"But no one expected he'd ever get very far, because I don't
suppose he could even integrate e to the x."
"Is such ignorance possible?"
"Maybe I exaggerate. Let's say x e to the x."
Arthur C. Clarke, Tales from the White Hart
Gentility is what is left over from rich ancestors after the
money is gone.
Occassionally men stumble over the truth, but usually they pick
themselves up and keep going.
When a lot of remedies are suggested for a disease, that means
it can't be cured.
No one has ever complained of a parachute not opening.
An optimist is a driver who thinks that empty space at the curb
won't have a hydrant beside it.
When science finishes getting a man up to the moon, maybe it can
have another try at getting pigeons down from public buildings.
Football season: The only time of the year when a man can walk
down the street with a blond on one arm and a blanket on the
other without encountering raised eyebrows.
At least one good thing has come out of it. My wife is pregnant.
Matt Cavanaugh, Patriot's quarterback as the NFL strike ended
What's all this fuss about plutonium? How can something named
after a Disney character be dangerous?
They say atomic rad-i-ation can hurt your reproductive organs.
My answer is, so can a hockey stick. But we don't stop building
Speak in French when you can't think of the English for the
In order to get a loan, you must first prove that you don't need
The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible
worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.
Too bad that all the people who know how to run this country are
busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.
I am constantly amazed when I talk to young people to learn how
much they know about sex and how little about soap.
The Beatles are not merely awful. I would consider it
sacrilegious to say anything less than that they are godawful.
William F. Buckley Jr.
Americans are broad-minded people. They'll accept the fact that
a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater, and
even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive there's something
wrong with him.
Medicine, the only profession that labors incessantly to destroy
the reason for its own existence.
The volume of paper expands to fill the available briefcases.
Gov. Jerry Brown
The reason why everybody likes planning is because nobody has to
Only uncomfortable chairs become antiques -- the comfortable
ones are worn out by hard use.
The surest way to get a job done is to give it to a busy man.
He'll have his secretary do it.
After all, what is a pedestrian? He is a man who has two cars --
one being driven by his wife, the other by one of his children.
Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and
a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents?
Those who give up cigarette smoking aren't the heroes. The real
heroes are the rest of us -- who have to listen to them.
The bumper's only use is a Braille device to help you park.
Do you realize that if it weren't for Edison, we'd be watching
TV by candlelight?
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.
Warren's Rule: To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts the
job will take the longest and cost the most.
Arthur Bloch, Murphy's Law Book Two
Rugby is a beastly game played by gentlemen; soccer is a
gentlemen's game played by beasts; football is a beast's game
played by beasts.
When I was forty, my doctor advised me that a man in his forties
shouldn't play tennis. I heeded his advice carefully and could
hardly wait until I was fifty to start again.
Justice Hugo Black
I have finally come to the conclusion that a reliable set of
bowels is worth more to any man than any quantity of brains.
I never knew an auctioneer to lie unless it was absolutely
Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but
you must have a pond of water handy and a child, or else there
will be no profit in boarding a Newfoundland.
Bore: A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
To apologize is to lay the foundation for a future offence.
Bigot: One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an
opinion you don't entertain.
Before undergoing a surgical operation arrange your temporal
affairs. You may live.
Barometer: An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of
weather we are having.
It's amazing what dogged application combined with simple fear
All that glistens may not be gold, but at least it contains free
Committee -- a group of men who keep minutes and waste hours.
This congestion in the post offices is due to what are
technically known as "regulations" but what are really a series
of acrostics and anagrams devised by some officials who got
around a table one night and tried to be funny.
It must be a source of great chagrin to those in charge to think
of so many people being able to stick a stamp on a letter and
drop it in a mail box without any trouble or suffering at all.
They are probably working on a system this very minute, trying to
devise some way in which the public can be made to fill out a
blank, stand in line, consult some underling who will refer him
to a superior, and then be made to black up with burned cork
before they can mail a letter.
Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he
is supposed to be doing at the moment.
In America there are two classes of travel -- first class and
Traveling with children corresponds roughly to traveling third
class in Bulgaria.
On close inspection, this device turned out to be a funereal
juke box -- the result of mixing Lloyd's on London with the
principle of the chewing gum dispenser.
Cecil Beaton, on airport insurance machines
Never in the history of fashion has so little material been
raised so high to reveal so much that needs to be covered so
Cecil Beaton, on the miniskirt
My program is to leave the fools to nature. She has diseases
with which to deal with them.
Inanimate objects are classified scientifically into three major
categories -- those that don't work, those that break down, and
those that get lost.
A $10 million windfall? At today's prices, I'd feel almost as
rich as I did one day in 1936 when I found a dime on the sidewalk
and blew the whole wad on 20 Mary Jane candy bars, a box of
jujubes, and a double feature.
The people who are always hankering loudest for some golden
yesteryear usually drive new cars.
We can't test these absolute limits on humans. We can't blast
them with sound. However, we can do that to animals because they
don't have the same political base that we do.
Every person born in the USA is endowed with life, liberty, and
a substantial share of the national debt.
We [Americans] are game-playing, fun-loving creatures; we are
the otters of the universe.
Although we will hate and fight the machines, we will be
supplanted anyway, and rightly so, for the intelligent machines
to which we will give birth may, better than we, carry on the
striving toward the goal of understanding and using the Universe,
climbing to heights we ourselves could never aspire to.
When the lay public rallies around to an idea that is denounced
by distinguished but elderly scientists, and supports that idea
with great fervor and emotion, the distinguished but elderly
scientists are then, after all, right.
The trouble with marriage is that a fellow can't support a wife
and the government on one income.
Amos 'n' Andy
If horses won't eat it, I don't want to play on it.
Dick Allen, on Astroturf
Stewardess: Mr. Ali please fasten your seat belt.
Ali: Superman don't need no seat belt.
Stewardess: Superman don't need no plane either.
Every great scientific truth goes through three stages. First,
people say it conflicts with the Bible. Next, they say it has
been discovered before. Lastly, they say they have always
If beer got any lighter you could raise goldfish in it.
Early to bed and early to rise, and you'll meet very few of the
A man never feels more important than when he receives a
telegram containing more than ten words.
The most popular labor saving device is still a husband with
Science is really going away at a rapid pace. Now it's only a
hundred years behind the comic strips.
The American civil space program is growing to maturity. It has
passed through the joys and crises of precocious childhood and
now is being called upon to do grown-up things, like earn a
living and establish permanent roots in space.
John Noble Wilford
Give your child a spanking once a day. If you don't know why, he
In case of atomic attack the government regulation regarding
prayer in schools will be temporarily suspended.
Note from school principal to his faculty
I don't need any bodyguards. I'm from the South Bronx.
There was an old Woman who lived in a shoe
She had so many children
Her government subsidy check came to $4,892.
Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum
mechanics cannot possibly have understood it.
What we should have fought for was representation without
My God, the suburbs! They encircled the city's boundaries like
enemy territory and we thought of them as a loss of privacy, a
cesspool of conformity and a life of indescribable dreariness in
some split-level village where the place name appeared in the New
York Times only when some bored housewife blew off her head with
In the 1970s a new audiovisual clue was developed: The proles
now went about the streets with 100-decibel over-the-shoulder
stereo radios and tape decks the size of storm window salesman's
suitcases. (Cultivated people, on the other hand, installed the
stereos and tape decks in their cars and didn't walk around that
much in the first place.)
If you can keep your head while those about you are losing
theirs, perhaps you've misunderstood the situation.
Graffito From Graffiti by Robert Reisner
Note that both of these papers [the New York Post and the New
York Daily News] are big sellers in a city whose residents like
to go around saying they'd never live anyplace else on account of
they'd miss the opera.
Keep New York clean. Throw your trash in New Jersey.
I'm gonna put all my money into taxes. They're sure to go up.
We cannot put the face of a person on a stamp unless said person
is deceased. My suggestion, therefore, is to drop dead.
James Day Postmaster General, to a petitioner who wanted himself portrayed on a postage stamp
Ecology is boring for the same reason that destruction is fun.
Don de Lillo
Hockey's the only place where a guy can go nowadays and watch
two white guys fight.
I love to watch those old movies on late-night television,
particularly when a couple get up from a champagne dinner in a
posh restaurant and the hero hands the waiter $3. But the best
part is when he says, "Keep the change."
Now scarcely a week goes by without a news story about the cops
swooping down on some adolescent prowler who is as skilled at
breaking into computer systems as defense contractors are at
breaking into the Federal budget.
There are no funny lawyers -- only funny people who made a
D. Robert White, author of The Official Lawyers Handbook
Everytime a lawyer writes something, he is not writing for
posterity, he is writing something so that endless others of his
craft can make a living out of trying to figure out what he said.
Course perhaps he really haden't said anything, that's what makes
it so hard to explain.
We're living in a state where no one can trust his telephone
conversations, nor even his personal conversations in a room, in
a bar or anywhere else.
When you are too old to play golf, you had better die.
Edward VIII, Prince of Wales
If I had it [life] to do all over again, I'd have been a
Now I can have Felix just like I did when he was alive. He's
just like he was in real life except he's a little flatter in the
Oramae Lewis, after having her run-over cat freeze-dried
They said today that we should stock up on canned goods. So I
went out and bought a case of beer.
John Gretchen III Galveston resident, on preparing for hurricane Alicia
You have reached the ----- family. What you hear is the barking
of our killer Doberman pinscher, Wolf. Please leave a message
after the tone.
Phone answering machine in Palo Alto, CA
Ignorant people in preppy clothes are more dangerous to America
than oil embargoes.
They say he hit the gull on purpose. They wouldn't say that if
they'd seen the throws he'd been making all year.
Billy Martin, after Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield threw a baseball which killed a seagull
America has always been greatest when we dared to be great. We
can reach for greatness again. We can follow our dreams to
distant stars, living and working in space for peaceful,
economic, and scientific gain. Tonight, I am directing NASA to
develop a permanently manned space station, and to do it within a
Ronald Reagan, State of the Union Message
When Columbus took off, the purpose was to improve trade
relations with China. That problem has not been solved to this
very day, but just look at the by-products.
Edward Teller, in defense of the space program
If we continue at this leisurly pace, we will have to pass
Russian customs when we land on the moon.
Werner von Braun, 1959
No one needed the telephone either, until they had one and
discovered how much easier it made their lives.
Jerry Grey, publisher of Aerospace America, on criticism of the proposed space station
Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the
findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th century and it is now
definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as
well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.
The New York Times, July 17, 1969 in a very belated correction to its ridicule of American rocket pioneer John Goddard in the 1920's
Ten years ago the moon was an inspiration to sweethearts; ten
years from now it will be just another airport.
Rep. Carroll Kearns
All chefs that flunk cooking school go to work for airlines.
Talk about it all you want, but there is one thing Orwell never
predicted: that in 1984 thousands of people would be wasting
their time wondering how their world compared to an over-written,
futuristic condemnation of totalitarianism.
Sending grown-ups up the wall is one of the things adolescence
is all about. A few years ago it was done with rock 'n' roll
music. Now at least they can do it quietly with a home computer.
Cleaning your home while kids are still growing up is like
shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.
Have you ever known anyone who bought a fruitcake for himself?
Of course not. They are purchased as Christmas gifts, mostly for
people you don't particularly like.
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.
Genetics explain why you look like your father, and, if you
don't, why you should.
I wonder why you can always read a doctor's bill and you can
never read his prescription.
The fellow who says he'll meet you halfway usually thinks he's
standing on the dividing line.
Ninety-two percent of the stuff told you in confidence you
couldn't get anyone else to listen to.
Frankin P. Adams
[Luging] is to sledding what mountain climbing is to hiking --
someone took a perfectly pleasant pastime and went to
considerable trouble to make it dangerous.
If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will
claim me as German, and France will declare that I am a citizen
of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that
I am a German, and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.
Today it takes more brains and effort to make out the income-tax
form than it does to make the income.
Alfred E. Neuman
A Tax Loophole: A deduction that the other guy gets.
Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays
out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got paid in wages.
According to unofficial sources, a new simplified income-tax
form contains only four lines: 1) What was your income for the
year? 2) What were your expenses? 3) How much have you left? 4)
Send it in.
There is no better way to return the matter of taxation to full
public discusssion than to repeal the withholding taxes on wages
and salaries. Only when the American people are confronted with
the enormous excesses of government in a personal and direct way
-- by an annual bill for services rendered -- will they be able
to make an informed judgment about which services they want and
which ones they can do without.
Karl Hess, Barry Goldwater's principal speechwriter in the 1964 presidential campaign, 1984
It may be true that George Washington never told a lie, but
there were no income tax blanks in his day.
Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than
Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as
satisfying as an income tax refund.
If Patrick Henry thought that taxation without representation
was bad, he should see how bad it is with representation.
The Old Farmer's Almanac
With his supporters singing and cheering outside the courtroom,
the Reverend Sun Moon Stars has pleaded innocent to charges of
income-tax evasion. Would God cheat the IRS? We hope so.
Even if such a vehicle could get into the air, how would it ever
Head of Smithsonian, c. 1900 on airplanes
The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.
And the wind shall say "Here were decent godless people; their
only monument the asphalt road and a thousand lost golf balls."
Walking isn't a lost art -- one must, by some means, get to the
Who would have believed we'd be sitting here with a son at
Vassar and a daughter at West Point?
Setting a good example for your children takes all the fun out
of middle age.
Real Men no longer drive Corvettes. Despite being able to
squander gas with the best of them, even today's least
enlightened Real Man finds the notion of a $17,000 plastic car
with no trunk somewhat absurd.
Bruce Feirstein, Author of Real Men Don't Eat Quiche
A man finds out what is meant by a spitting image when he tries
to feed cereal to his infant.
If the shoe fits you're lucky.
What about the poor salesman who is calling into the office from
the corner saloon instead of the home sickbed he claims he is in?
Malcolm Forbes, on the Picturephone
One of the greatest labor saving devices of today is tomorrow.
Never lend books, for no one ever returns them. The only books I
have in my library are books that other folks have lent me.
It is human nature to think wisely and act foolishly.
A pedestrian ought to be legally allowed to toss at least one
hand grenade at a motorist every day.
If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking, and loving, you
don't actually live longer; it just seems longer.
If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes out but
tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very
expensive machine, is somehow enobled and no one dares criticise
A tourist is a fellow who drives thousands of miles so he can be
photographed standing in front of his car.
I'm not overweight. I'm undertall.
A jogger is a strange person with a thing for pain.
Adults are obsolete children.
Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss)
The human race never solves any of its problems, it only
The meek shall inherit the earth but not the mineral rights.
John Paul Getty
It's going to be fun to watch and see how long the meek can keep
the earth after they inherit it.
The meek shall inherit the earth; two meters long by one meter
Let the meek inherit the earth -- they have it coming to them.
Of course the meek will inherit the earth. They won't have the
nerve to refuse it.
I'm proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only
thing is -- I could be just as proud for half the money.
An oldtimer is someone who can remember when a naughty child was
taken to the woodshed instead of to a psychiatrist.
In my life I've easily lost 500 pounds but for some reason they
keep finding me.
Music is art. Muzak the science.
Muzak Corporation ad
If rats are experiemented upon, they will develop cancer.
W.C. Morton Jr.
The jumbo jet is the airborne equivalent of the interstate
highway...One might as well be stuffed into a cartridge and shot
through a pneumatic tube, like interoffice mail.
When man sends colonies into space, he will be able to mount
moveable, sun-reflecting mirrors to simulate rhythms of day and
night and even the terrestial seasons...But he doubtless will
follow the longstanding American habit of thinking that outer
space should, as much as possible, resemble Southern California.
Human ingenuity has given centuries to the goal of ensuring that
the human body might move around at an even 68 degrees all year.
Science is resourceful. It couldn't pry open the Pullman
windows, so it air-conditioned the train.
Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with
themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
It's not true that life is one damn thing after another -- it's
one damn thing over and over.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates
There is always an easy solution to every human problem -- neat,
plausible, and wrong.
The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist
The townspeople are morons, yokels, peasants and genus homo
boobiensis...surrounded by gaping primates from the upland
H.L. Mencken, after covering the Scopes trial in Dayton, TN
The war on privilege will never end. Its next campaign will be
against the special privileges of the underprivileged.
You get no points for good faith in a game of dirty poker.
Anybody who has any doubt about the ingenuity or the
resourcefulness of a plumber never got a bill from one.
Xerox: A trademark for a photocopying device that can make rapid
reproductions of human error, perfectly.
Merle L. Meacham
If you love something, set it free; If it comes back to you;
it's yours, If it doesn't, find it and kill it.
In the space age, man will be able to go around the world in two
hours -- one hour for flying and the other to get to the airport.
Did you ever hear of a kid playing accountant -- even if he
wanted to be one?
I've had a wonderful evening -- but this wasn't it.
Groucho Marx, to a Hollywood hostess
He who builds a better mousetrap these days runs into material
shortages, patent-infringement suits, work stoppages, collusive
bidding, discount discrimination - and taxes.
Men who play [chess] at the grandmaster level are, almost
without exception, strange and unpleasant.
D. Keith Mano
The amount of quaint, authentic, rustic charm varies inversely
with the pounds per square inch of water pressure in the shower.
Fish and guests in three days are stale.
Young men still desire women as much as ever, even though they
don't want to marry them as much.
Clare Boothe Luce
If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.
When I go, I'll take New Year's Eve with me.
Many a man wishes he were strong enough to tear a telephone book
in half -- especially if he has a teenage daughter.
A youth with his first cigar makes himself sick; a youth with
his first girl makes other people sick.
Mary Wilson Little
Virus: A Latin medical term meaning "Your guess is as good as
I'd rather be a football coach. That way you only lose eleven
games a year.
Abe Lemons, Univ. of Texas football coach
Large, naked, raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those
who live in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter.
I detest life insurance agents; they always argue that I shall
someday die, which is not so.
A neurotic is a man who builds a castle in the air. A psychotic
is the man who lives in it. A psychiatrist is the man who
collects the rent.
It's like the little rat in the Skinner box who says, "I've got
this psychologist under my control. Every time I press the bar,
he gives me a food pellet."
Women spend 85 percent of the consumer dollar, children 15
percent, and men the rest.
It is now proved beyond doubt that smoking is one of the leading
causes of statistics.
Now when I bore people at a party they think it's their fault.
You know what amazes me about UFO's? They never land at the
White House. They always land at laramie, Wyoming. Thiry miles
out, where they're seen by one farmer.
Doorman -- a genius who can open the door of your car with one
hand, help you in with the other, and still have one left for the
I feel about airplanes the way I feel about diets. It seems to
me that they are wonderful objects for other people to go on.
I don't care if my lettuce has DDT on it, just as long as it's
Under the new math, 2 and 2 sometimes make 22. Obviously the new
math is well suited for interpreting the new economics.
...telephone operators now routinely use '80s-babble, chirping,
"Have a nice day," the moral equivalent of the smile button.
Football is violence and cold weather and sex and college rye.
Horse racing is animated roulette. Boxing is smoky halls and
kidneys battered until they bleed. Tennis and golf are best
played, not watched. Basketball, hockey, and track meets are
action heaped upon action, climax upon climax, until the
onlooker's responses become deadened. Baseball is for the
leisurely afternoons of summer and for the unchanging dreams.
We've lost more men to homosexuality than we ever did in two
Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a
Franklin P. Jones
The man who called it "near beer" was a bad judge of distance.
Unless you're planning to play football the only thing worse
than a suit with padded shoulders is two of them.
Malcolm S. Forbes
If you haven't struck oil after five minutes, stop boring.
George Jessel, of after-dinner speakers
It is easy to say that poverty is no crime. No, if it were men
wouldn't be ashamed of it. It's a blunder, though, and is
punished as such.
Jerome K. Jerome
The biggest lies of the 1980's are: "The Mercedes is paid for,"
It's PC compatible," and "It's only a cold sore."
Vanessa Williams was asked to resign as Miss America, apparently
for posing as a Democratic Convention delegate.
The Age of Chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and
calculators has succeeded.
The best way to clean up a son's room is to close the door and
pretend it's not part of the house.
There isn't much to be seen in a small town, but what you hear
makes up for it.
There's another advantage to being poor -- a doctor will cure
Most parents don't worry about a daughter until she fails to
show up for breakfast.
A bad cold wouldn't be so annoying except for the advice of our
The fellow who owns his own home is always just coming out of a
This will never be a civilized country until we spend more money
for books than we do for chewing gum.
Some people can stay longer in an hour than others can in a
All pro athletes are bilingual. They speak English and
We are in danger of developing a cult of the Common Man, which
means a cult of mediocrity.
What a lucky thing the wheel was invented before the automobile;
otherwise can you imagine the awful screeching?
A computer can get more work done faster than a human being
becuase it doesn't have to waste time answering the phone.
A boy becomes an adult three years before his parents think he
does, and about two years after he thinks he does.
General Lewis Hershey, former director of Selective Service
What this country needs is more people who can appreciate a good
Malcolm S. Forbes
There is a major disease in this country called wall stare.
When people read a computer manual, they just want to put it down
and stare at the wall for as long as possible.
Don't get too much sleep and don't tell anybody your troubles,
Appearances count: Get a sun lamp to keep you looking as though
you have just come back from somewhere expensive; maintain an
elegant address even if you have to live in an attic.
Exercise is bunk. If you are healthy, you don't need it; if you
are sick, you shouldn't take it.
If thou art a master, be sometimes blind, if a servant,
A woman's quest in life should be to find the perfect apartment.
And I have found the perfect apartment. The perfect apartment is
the first floor of the Metropolitan Museum. With a sofa.
When I fly, I'm never afraid the plane is going to crash. But
there have often been times when I was afraid it wouldn't crash.
I was just afraid it was going to circle O'Hare for the rest of
Don't tell me man doesn't belong out there [in space]. Man
belongs wherever he wants to go -- and he'll do plenty well when
he gets there.
Werner von Braun
Do not join encounter groups. If you enjoy being made to feel
inadequate, call your mother.
Housework, if you do it right, can kill you.
Why take pride in cooking, when they don't take pride in eating?
We are a nation that worships speed and power. And for good
reason. Without power we would still be part of England and
everybody would be out of work... Bicycles are too slow and
impuissant for a nation like ours. They belong in Czechoslovakia.
The people I see on bicycles look like organic-gardening zealots
who advocate federal regulation of bedtime and want American
foreign policy to be dictated by UNICEF. These people should be
Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.
Isn't it time to admit to ourselves that the 55 [mph speed]
limit was a dumb idea that didn't work? Isn't it wrong for our
government to spend all that money attempting to defend the
unjustifiable proposition that Americans cannot safely drive as
fast as Britons, or Belgians, or Frenchmen, or even Italians, for
David E. Davis
The way the [welfare] programs are organized, poor people are
only paid to do things that are counter-productive -- such as
breaking up their families, such as not earning above a certain
level of income.
As the horsepower in modern automobiles steadily rises, the
congestion of traffic steadily lowers the average possible speed
of your car. This is known as Progress.
Sydney J. Harris
I have always considered that the substitution of the internal
combustion engine for the horse marked a very gloomy milestone in
the progress of mankind.
Sir Winston Churchill
The good old horse-and-buggy days: then you lived until you died
and not until you were run over.
The Bible contains much that is relevant today, like Noah taking
forty days to find a place to park.
Laurence J. Peter
One way to solve the traffic problem is to keep all the cars
that are not paid for off the streets.
This is my prediction for the future: Whatever hasn't happened
will happen, and no one will be safe from it.
Ugly is very popular this year...I had a feeling these clothes
were deigned by someone who didn't like women.
Andy Rooney, speaking of a Paris fashion show
If the first person who answers the phone cannot answer your
question, it's a bureaucracy.
Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At
best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes,
bathe, and not make messes in the house.
The worst thing about work in the house or home is that whatever
you do it is destroyed, laid waste or eaten within 24 hours.
The marvels of modern technology include the development of a
soda can which, when discarded, will last forever -- and a $7,000
car which, when properly cared for, will rust out in two or three
From the clock at the Biltmore to LSD.
Jeffrey Hart, description of the transition of the fifties into the sixties
I don't want any kids under 12 to hear about lesbians,
homosexuals, and sexual intercourse. They should be concerned
with tops, yo-yo's and hide-and- seek.
The primary redeeming social value of New Wave is that it
I think there are two areas where new ideas are terribly
dangerous -- economics and sex. By and large, it's all been
tried, and if it's new it's probably illegal or dangerous or
Felix Rohatyn, chief of New York's Municipal Assistance Corp., speaking of Gary Hart's platform
As soon as man applies his intelligence to any object at all, he
unfailingly destroys the object.
There are two kinds of people in one's life -- people one keeps
waiting and the people for whom one waits.
Samuel N. Behrman
The Egyptians had the locusts and in the Middle Ages there was
the Black Death with the rats, but tourists are the plague of our
century and we'll not survive this one.
Irish farmer, as quoted by Richard Conniff
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of
the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded
yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight
million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green
planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive
that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The paperless office will arrive about the same time as the
Amy Wohl, office automation consultant
By 1960, most computers understood programs. So did a handful of
long-haired eccentrics called programmers, who were called
systems analysts if they made over $15,000 a year.
Jack B. Rochester and John Gantz, The Naked Computer
When doctors and undertakers meet, they always wink at each
Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
I had never considered marriage, but I had an open mind, and I
was to learn after a brief try at it that most open minds should
be closed for repairs.
God gives us our relatives, but thank God we can choose our
There is no bad beer; some kinds are better than others.
Americans: people who laugh at...African witch doctors and spend
100 million dollars on fake reducing systems.
Leonard Louis Levinson
The streets are safe in Philadelphia, it's only the people who
make them unsafe.
It is inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them
make their experiments on journalists and politicians.
The reason we are called domestic car dealers is that all the
rich people out here buy our cars for their domestics because
their kids won't drive them.
Leonard Ely, Chevy dealer in Menlo Park, CA
We should sell them to our worst enemies, the Russians and the
Ed Koch, on taking New York's problem-plauged Grumman buses out of service<p> Howard, you have a firm grasp of the obvious.
O.J. Simpson, to Howard Cosell at a Jets-Bills game
I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when
you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more
I don't care what they say. If I come in from the airport and
two days later have seven thousand clients, that's the greatest
ambulance chase in history.
John P. Cole, lawyer, showing up in India after the Union Carbide plant disaster
When disaster strikes far away in the Third World, the French
send doctors. The Swedes send food packages. We send lawyers.
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of the U.S. Office of Patents, 1899
DeForest has said in many newspapers and over his signature that
it would be possible to transmit the human voice over the
Atlantic before many years. Based on these absurd and misleading
statements, the misguided public has been persuaded to purchase
stock in his company.
U.S. District Attorney, responding to fraud charges against inventor Lee DeForest, 1913
While theoretically and technically television may be feasible,
commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a
development of which we need waste little time dreaming.
Lee DeForest, pioneer of radio
My imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing
anything but suffocate its crew and founder at sea.
Save our beaches -- Harpoon a fat chick.
Register matches -- prevent forest fires.
Harry Edsel Smith
Born 1903-Died 1942
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down. It was.
tombstone in Albany, N.Y.
Support nuclear power -- a little nukie never hurt anyone.
Carcinogens in use in this lab. Do not lay down food or lick the
Of course I want it today. If I had wanted it tomorrow, I'd have
given it to you tomorrow.
My tastes are simple, I like the best.
Rates: $8/hr.; with you watching $16/hr.; with you helping
sign in print shop
Farmer, age 38, wishes to meet woman around 30 who owns tractor.
Please enclose picture of tractor.
Want ad in N.Y. newspaper
Filing cabinet: A place to lose things alphabetically.
Live each day as if it were your last; sooner or later you will
Don't smoke in our theatre. We don't show movies in your lungs.
slide in movie theatre
If the America's Cup is lost, its place will be taken by the
head of the man who loses it.
motto of the NY Yacht Club
Old golfers never die; they just lose their balls.
The trouble with telling a good story is that it always reminds
the other fellow of a dull one.
Next to the dog, the wastebasket is man's best friend.
San Francisco executive
The final test of fame is to have a crazy person imagine he is
Amtrak passenger, when asked if she was afraid of flying
Goodness! It would be cheaper to buy a horse and just be kind to
Woman, on seeing the ticket price for an ASPCA benefit
I collided with a stationary truck going the other way...The guy
was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I
hit him...The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I
ran over him...To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I
struck the pedestrian.
Excerpts from insurance claim forms, Compiled by Michael Grant, Copley News Service
The three biggest lies in the USA today: 1) The check is in the
mail. 2) I gave at the office. 3) (Big, cheery smile) Hello! I'm
from Washington. I'm here to help you!
The importance of information is directly proportional to its
Fundamental axiom of information theory
Parents spend the first part of a child's life getting him to
walk and talk, and the rest of his childhood getting him to sit
down and shut up.
There's nothing wrong with teenagers that reasoning won't
Never kick a man when he's down. He may get up.
First in war, first in peace, and last in the American league.
Anonymous comment on Washington
There was a young man from the Tyne,
Put his head on the Northeastern line,
But he died of ennui, for the 5:53
Came no sooner than quarter past nine.
Adolescence is a battle between you and your hormones.
There are a hundred pennies in every minute.
Classless society is the dream of people with no class.
The only thing wrong with architecture is architects.
Frank Lloyd Wright
A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise
his client to plant vines.
Frank Lloyd Wright
One listens to one's lawyer prattle on as long as one can stand
it and then signs where indicated.
That's like blaming the Johnstown Flood on a leaky toilet in
Stanley Woodward, on Army football coach Red Blair's excuse for a loss
Vetinarian to cat owner: Give him one of these pills every four
hours. Then use this to stop your bleeding.
Stewardesses with National Airlines spend most of their time
flying between New York and Miami. This gives them an interesting
combination of a hacking cough and a deep leathery suntan.
If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple
of car payments.
Benjamin Franklin may have discovered electricity -- but it was
the man who invented the meter who made the money.
A good catchword can obscure analysis for fifty years.
The only thing one never regrets are one's mistakes.
We don't have to worry about endangered species -- why, we can't
even get rid of the cockroach.
To err is human, to really foul things up requires a computer.
The only people making money these days are the ones who sell
Computers may well become the Cuisinarts of the '80s -- everyone
has one, but it will be used only to chop onions.
John & Martha Kanes
It is a sobering thought that Gomer Pyle and the Beverly
Hillbillies may be among our chief interstellar emissaries.
Kurt Vonnegut, referring to the propogation of TV broadcasts through space
There are days when any electrical appliance in the house,
including the vacuum cleaner, seems to offer more entertainment
possibilities than the TV set.
Harriet von Horne
We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is
Werner von Braun
I do not much care for nature, and believe that flowers belong
in vases rather than loose and untidy on the ground.
Conservation: The market for color photos of pond scum.
Progress is a continuing effort to make the things we eat,
drink, and wear as good as they used to be.
Nobody is sicker than the man who is sick on his day off.
In the first place God made idiots; that was for practice; then
he made school boards.
Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us
could not succeed.
I don't give a damn for a man who can spell a word only one way.
I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to
find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
Harry S Truman
I worry about kids today -- because of the sexual revolution,
they're going to grow up and never know what "dirty" means.
The trouble with the lost generation is that it didn't get lost
Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.
We finally got Nebraska where we want them -- off the schedule.
Ability is the art of getting credit for the home runs somebody
It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits
his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.
Psychiatrist to patient: Maybe you don't have a complex. Maybe
you are inferior.
It was an ideal day for football -- too cold for the spectators
and too cold for the players.
Red Smith, on the 1963 NFL championship game
Petition -- a list of people who didn't have the guts to say
Every child should have an occassional pat on the back as long
as it is applied low enough and hard enough.
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it didn't
work for the rabit.
We have not lost faith, but we have transferred it to the
George Berard Shaw
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable
one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore,
all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw
There's one nice thing about driving a train. No one's gonna put
a gun at your head and say "Havana."
If Apple ever has trouble making it as a corporation, it might
consider applying for tax-exempt status as a religion.
Unlike Woodstock, there is very little nudity here, as chnges in
fashion have made that rather unnecessary. With the advent of the
string swimsuit, only a bit of imagination and a basic
understanding of human anatomy separate fashionable dress from
Philip Schrodt, of the Steve Wozniak (Apple Computers) sponsored rock concert
It works better when you plug it in.
The amount of time it takes to deliver a letter is directly
proportional to the price of the stamp.
The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.
Come September, children return to school, grownups to work, and
the brain to the head.
The easist way to find something lost around the house is to buy
Singles hitters drive Fords. Home-run hitters drive Cadillacs.
Let's face it, though, anything that's apt to happen to an
appliance like a blender isn't covered by the warranty anyway, so
I never send them in. If it breaks, I'll buy a new one. That's
the American way.
Everything is funny as long as it's happening to someone else.
Last year we said "Things can't go on like this." And they
didn't. They got worse.
We have killed more people celebrating our independence day than
we lost fighting for it.
There are two things I don't care how smart you are, you will
never understand. One is an alienist's testimony, and the other
is a railroad timetable.
The deer season just opened. A deer hunter in Ventura Country
brought in his first man yesterday.
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the
time we have rushed through life trying to save.
Sex: Something that children never discuss in the presence of
Friends: People who borrow books and set wet glasses on them.
I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn't itch.
Look here, Steward, if this is coffee, I want tea; but if this
is tea, then I wish for coffee.
It is in the interests of society to put the Pill into slot
machines and to place cigarettes on prescription.
Dr. Malcolm Potts
The worst thing about history is that every time it repeats
itself the price goes up.
Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the
eye of the beholder.
Laurence J. Peter
For the fifth year in succession I have poured over the
catalogue of dogs in the show at Madison Square Garden without
finding a dog named Rover, Towser, Sport, Spot, or Fido. Who is
the man who can call from his back door at night: "Here, Champion
Alexander of Clane o' Wind-Holme! Here, Champion Alexander of
Clane o' Wind-Holme"?
All our troubles come from not being able to be alone.
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
The best way to keep children at home is to make the home
atmosphere pleasant -- and let the air out of the tires.
A hospital should have a recovery room adjoining the cashier's
The desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature
which distinguishes man from the animals.
They say kids today don't know the value of a dollar. They
certainly do know the value of a dollar. That's why they ask for
Our country has plenty of good five-cent cigars, but the trouble
is they charge fifteen cents for them.
Lincoln was known to have walked miles to borrow books, to get
the most rudimentary form of education. So what do we do on his
birthday? We close the schools!
Too many damned people flying these days. Egalitarianism should
never have been allowed to get off the ground.
William Bede O'Malley, character in The High Road to China
The thought of suicide is a great consolation; By means of it
one gets successfully through many a bad night.
Beggars should be abolished. It annoys one to give to them, and
it annoys one not to give to them.
Happiness is getting a bill you've already paid, so you can sit
down and write a nasty note.
National Review has learned that the Food and Drug
Administration is sitting on a secret scientific study
establishing that being forced to live in a box in a laboratory
causes cancer in rats.
Won't you help change a world where Reader's Digest has