Who said it

"In every childhood, a door opens and the future comes in."

Graham Greene

"Art is what you find when the ruins are cleared away"

Karen Porter

"Running with dogs is like dancing with winter"

Gary Paulsen

"The music is digitally sampled; by that we mean it was hand picked."

Fiona Ritchie on NPR

"Some men see what is, and ask ‘Why?’

I see what might be, and ask ‘Why Not?’"

Sen. Robert Kennedy

"Been there. Seen that. Done that. Twice."

From a business card of a travelling musician.

"You say your mother loves you? Better check it out."

Academic version: "You say your mother loves you: Got a citation?"

Journalistic adage, variously attributed, culled from the desk of Tony Leys.

"There is no idea so stupid that you can’t find a professor who will believe it."

H.L. Mencken

"Both the doctor and the angel of death

kill, but only the doctor charges for it."

Jewish Aphorism

"Truth emerges more from error than from confusion."

Sir Francis Bacon

"Some people’s minds are so open their brains have fallen out."

Richard Riorty (?)

"It was not necessarily the best of times in America when Catholics and Protestants were suspicious of and hated one another; but at least they were taking their beliefs seriously, and the more or less satisfactory accommodations they worked out were not simply the result of apathy about the state of their souls." (p. 35)

Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind.

"The sirens sing sotto voce these days, and the young already have enough wax in their ears to pass them by without danger." (p. 338)

Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind.

"Hands that can grasp, eyes

that can dilate, hair that can rise

if it must, these things are important

not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put

upon them but

because they are


Marianne Moor, Poetry

"…the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to

scorn all machinery,

And the cow crunching with depress’d head

surpasses any statue,

And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels."

Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

"Education is not the filling of a bucket but the starting of a fire."

W.B. Yeats

"I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute."

Rebecca West, 1913

"In the long run, we’re all dead."

Economist John Maynard Keynes, cautioning on relying on long term trends.

"If any one of us has had an ambition higher than that of making money; a motive better than that of expediency; a faith warmer than that of reasoning; a love purer than that of the self; he has been slow to express it; still slower to urge it."

Henry Adams, reflecting on his college commencement.

"I beseech ye in the bowels of Christ, think that ye may be mistaken."

Cromwell, quoted in [Freedman, 1996 #737]

"The Jews are a frightened people. Nineteen centuries of Christian love have broken down their nerves."

Israel Zangwill, quoted in The Portable Curmudgeon

"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of power. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."

Daniel Webster, quoted in Hearings on the confirmation of Abe Fortas to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, p. 108

"Throughout adulthood, all of us on occasions fail to assess, or misassess, the knowledge states of others, most often assuming that they match our own" (p. 9-10).

Deanna Kuhn, Columbia University

"The Gods we worship write their names on our faces, be sure of that. And a person will worship something, have no doubt of that either. One may think that tribute is paid in secret, in the dark recesses of his or her heart, but it is not. That which dominates imagination and thoughts will determine life and character. Therefore it behooves us to be careful what we are worshiping, for what we are worshiping we are becoming."

From the Gates of Heaven alternative services.

"The daisies I wanted

to offer you

have all their

petals gone.

Perhaps you’ll think me

foolish, but I picked

the bare stems


S. Horton

"The man in the tall hat picked up the shell. There was no pea under it. The next instant the five-dollar bill was in his tail-coat pocket and he was showing the pea again and putting it under another shell.

Almonzo couldn’t understand it. He had seen the pea under that shell, and it wasn’t there. He asked Father how the man had done it.

‘I don’t know, Almonzo,’ Father said. ‘But he knows. It’s his game. Never bet your money on another man’s game.’"

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farmer Boy (p. 256, paperback version)

"Having lovers and friends is all good and fine

But I don’t like yours and you don’t like mine."

Eric Clapton, "Promises" from "Timepieces: The Best of Eric Clapton"

Barbara: …all I did with my computer at home was write papers on it. That was it. Period. And like, like ‘The perils of Rosella, you know the, like…

Jon: No, I don’t [know]. What is it?

Barbara: It’s an adventure game. You make her walk around, and she’s a little goody-goody and she has to be nice to everybody, and, rescue something, I forgot.

Jon: What happens if she’s not [a goody-goody]?

Barbara: If she’s not, really, if she’s not nice, you get these messages. Cause you can type in dialogue.…and if you type in words that are inappropriate, they say ‘Rosella would never say that’. And I was just like ‘oh, Lord, if she was me, she would.’

Exchange between me and an interview participant about her experiences with computers in high school.

"The plural of anecdote is not data."

Roger Brinner

"Confronted with hundreds of thousands of references, [the pupil] has little guidance as to the nature and the quality of the sites on offer. Even with the help of electronic browsers, the choice remains bewildering. Libraries can be bewildering places, too, but at least you don't have to search the garbage cans before getting to the books."

Hailz-Emily Osborne, an English teacher at Bradfield College in Britain, on the educational problems of the Internet (quoted in The Oldie Magazine)

"Remember only this one thing," said Badger. "The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each other’s memory. This is how people care for themselves."

Barry Lopez, "Crow and Weasel"

"We matter more than pounds and pence

Your economic theory makes no sense."

Sting, "We work the black seam together"

"My problems start when the smarter bears and the dumber visitors intersect."

Steve Thompson, wildlife biologist at Yosemite National Park, telling the New York Times in November that the cause of the 600 car break-ins by bears in 1997 mostly was food left in the seat.

"Everything is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together, stories and compassion."

Barry Lopez, from an interview in Poets and Writers, Vol. 22, issue 2

"Most people (even researchers) will do anything rather than think, and this is particularly obvious in educational research" (p. 42).

John Wilson, quoted in Fenstermacher (1986)

"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."

Pablo Picasso

"Technology does not have to be as mechanical (or impersonal) as optical mark readers with multiple choice questions were. The computer is not a teaching machine, it is a learning tool and curriculum in all the corners of the United Kingdom reflects this in a brave and encouraging way."

Ultralab’s Stephen Heppel, writing in the London Times.

"If Sisyphus were a scholar, his field would be education" (p. 9)

David Labaree in Educational Researcher 28 (8)

A barrier to the nirvana of Hiltz’s "virtual classroom" would then appear to be the practices employed by the teacher in a computer conferencing classroom. I asked one of the students if Wired Writers was "just the same old classroom thing, all dressed up." Her reply was a soberly delivered, "Scantily clad."

David Beckstead, from his Master’s Thesis

"First we thought the PC was a calculator. Then we found out how to turn numbers into letters with ASCII -- and we thought it was a typewriter. Then we discovered graphics, and we thought it was a television. With the World Wide Web, we've realized it's a brochure."

Douglas Adams

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies a theft from those who hunger and are not fed."

Dwight D. Eisenhower

"A baby is God's opinion that life should go on."

Carl Sandburg

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

Eric Hoffer

"Do these pants make me look doomed?"

Jon Stewart on Benetton's ad campaign using death-row inmates

"Years ago, my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world Elwood, you must be (she'd always call me Elwood) In this world Elwood, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart – I recommend pleasant. You may quote me."

Elwood P. Dowd, from Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Harvey"

"Mother Nature and Mother Earth

are two of the three women

who dictate what I’m worth."

Barenaked Ladies from "Rock Spectacle"

"A kiss that speaks volumes is seldom a first edition."

Clare Whitting

"I've seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts."

John Steinbeck

"They laughed at Galileo. They laughed at Newton. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."

Carl Sagan

"Once upon a time in the dead of winter in the Dakota territory, Theodore Roosevelt took off in a makeshift boat down the Little

Missouri River in pursuit of a couple of thieves who had stolen his prized rowboat. After several days on the river, he caught up and got the draw on them with his trusty Winchester, at which point they surrendered. Then Roosevelt set off in a borrowed wagon to haul the thieves cross-country to justice. They headed across the snow-covered wastes of the Badlands to the railhead at Dickinson, and Roosevelt walked the whole way, the entire 40 miles. It was an astonishing feat, what might be called a defining moment in Roosevelt's eventful life. But what makes it especially memorable is that during that time, he managed to read all of Anna Karenina.

"I often think of that when I hear people say that they haven't time to read."

David McCullough in his essay "No Time to Read?"

"A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well."

G. K. Chesterton (Jon’s note: who might as well have been describing me training for marathons)

'As for stability, we have three Windows 98 boxes that crash so often that my 3-year-old son now says "It crashed," when I switch a TV program off.'

Nicholas Petreley

"The Coyote is not a villain. He just wants something. We're all much more familiar with failure. . . . The Coyote keeps ordering things from Acme because he's familiar with them. When I was a kid in the [1920s], every Saturday you'd see everybody out in their driveways, trying to fix their cars, which were always broken. The next time, they'd always buy the same car because they were familiar with it."

Warner Bros. animator Chuck Jones

"Take care of your friends. Because there will come a time when you'll be no good to anyone, and the only reason for people to talk to you will be sheer habit."

Garrison Keillor

"She memorized

Every box of crayon colors in the box

Her Blue-green eyes

Complement the burnt sienna in her locks"

Barenaked Ladies

"1864: General John Sedgwick, Union commander in the Civil War at the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, says, ‘They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist…’ just before a Confederate ball strikes him in the head."

From the Far Side Calendar

"This life is a thump-ripe melon, so sweet and such a mess."

Greg Brown

I don’t need any drug to show me Heaven

And I sure know how to spend plenty of time cleaning Hell

But I’m missin’ that feeling of falling.

Bonnie Raitt

"Today I want to talk about piracy and music. What is piracy? Piracy is the act of stealing an artist's work without any intention of paying for it. I'm not talking about Napster-type software -- I'm talking about major label recording contracts."

Courtney Love in "Salon"

" And computers are getting smarter all the time: scientists tell us that soon they will be able to talk to us. (By " they " I mean " computers ": I doubt scientists will ever be able to talk to us.) "


Dave Barry

" Too bad men aren't like computers. Predictable, compliant, full of answers but no questions...yet able to deliver an occasional delightful surprise. " --

Brenda Starr

" A crash is when your competitor's program dies. When your program dies, it is an 'idiosyncrasy.' Frequently, crashes are followed with a message like 'ID 02.' 'ID' is an abbreviation for 'idiosyncrasy' and the number that follows indicates how many more months of testing the product should have had. "

Guy Kawasaki, " The Macintosh Way "

"Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy."

H. L. Mencken

"Do what you can with what you have, where you are."

Teddy Roosevelt to his men before storming San Juan Hill.

Democracy is buying a big house you can't afford with money you don't have to impress people you wish were dead. And, unlike communism, democracy does not mean having just one ineffective political party; it means having two ineffective political parties. ... Democracy is welcoming people from other lands, and giving them something to hold onto -- usually a mop or a leaf blower. It means that with proper timing and scrupulous bookkeeping, anyone can die owing the government a huge amount of money. ... Democracy means free television, not good television, but free. ... And finally, democracy is the eagle on the back of a dollar bill, with 13 arrows in one claw, 13 leaves on a branch, 13 tail feathers, and 13 stars over its head -- this signifies that when the white man came to this country, it was bad luck for the Indians, bad luck for the trees, bad luck for the wildlife, and lights out for the American eagle. I thank you.

Johnny Carson, excerpt from a 1991 Tonight Show monologue.

"A human being is a human being because of other human beings."

Ibo saying

" If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning."

Catherine Aird

"Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk."

Douglas Larson

"Data! Data! Data! I can’t make bricks without clay."

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches."

"Show me a sexual practice that involves ice cubes and hot sauce, and

I will show you a sexual practice that would be improved without


critic Roger Ebert, on the film The Center of the World

"The best things in life aren’t things."

Art Buchwald

A leader is best when people barely know that he exists, / Not so good when people obey and acclaim him, / Worst when they despise him. Fail to honor people, / They fail to honor you; But of a good leader, who talks little, / When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, They will all say, "We did this ourselves."

Lao Tse

Work backwards. Start with the problem and go wherever it takes you.



Don't let an "expert" stand in front of people and tell them everything s/he knows. This is mostly just an ego trip for the expert, and a very boring experience for the victims. The overhead projector has done more to destroy learning than any other thing I can think of.

Thomas Magliozzi

"It is indeed ironic that we spend our school days yearning

to graduate and our remaining days waxing nostalgic about our school days."

Isabel Waxman

Lo tuchal l'hitaleim. Variously translated as: "You must not remain indifferent." (JPS), "Thou mayest not hide thyself." (Hertz)

Deuteronomy 22:3

Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again... And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France.

When will we also teach them what they are?

We should say to each of them:

Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move.

You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel?

Pablo Casals, Cellist

No man says he needs [advice about sex]. We all have a false sense of confidence. We are all our own little Warren Beattys.

Scott Omelianuk, in a Salon.com interview.

You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.

John, Lord Morley

Hollywood is a narcotic, not a stimulant. It wants to sell

you something. Literature wants to tell you something.

Rex Murphy

"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth. And you should save it for someone you love."

Butch Hancock

"Ain kol chodosh tachas hashemesh" (There is nothing new under the sun)

Ecclesiastes 1:9

Q: So what would an intelligent car be like, for example?

A: Well, there may never be such a thing. But we used to have intelligent cars; they were called horses. And they used to know stuff that our cars don't know. They used to know where they lived and how to get home and how not to knock over people. Even how to refuel themselves. The amazing thing was that they could even make new cars. The intelligent car would be like a horse. Something that really enjoyed a good drive and prided itself on not knocking people down.

- from a Salon.com interview with Steve Grand about the what it means to be alive.

"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."

Ann Landers

"Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy."

Albert Einstein

"Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't."

Pete Seeger

"On the surface, the intelligible lie; underneath, the unintelligible truth."

Milan Kundera

"Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies."

St. Augustine