Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 204

"That wretched alchemist called money can turn a man's heart into a stone!" --Mehmet Murat Ildan, writer (1965- )

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Happy Qaariitaaryik!

Learn about "Halloween" in a remote Alaska village. (Thanks to Matt for bringing this blog to my attention.)


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Quotations from Brainy Smurf 203

A rewrite of a famous moment in movie history
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 00:55:58 +1000

[A furious light saber duel is under way. DARTH VADER is backing LUKE
SKYWALKER toward the end of the gantry. A quick move by Vader, chops
off Luke's hand! It goes spinning off into the ventilation shaft. Luke
backs away. He looks round, but realizes there's nowhere to go but
straight down.]

DARTH VADER: "Obi Wan never told you what happened to your father."

LUKE: "He told me enough! He told me you killed him!"

DARTH VADER: "No! I am your father!"

LUKE: "No, it's not true! It's impossible."

DARTH VADER: "Search your feelings; you know it to be true."


DARTH VADER: "Yes, it is true and you know what else? You know that
brass droid of yours?"

LUKE: "Threepio?"

DARTH VADER: "Yes, Threepio, I built him when I was seven years old."

LUKE: "No."

DARTH VADER: "Seven years old? And what have you done? Look at
yourself, no hand, no job, and couldn't even levitate
your own ship out of the swamp."

LUKE: "I worked hard on that moisture farm."

DARTH VADER: "What? Hauling buckets? I spent my childhood as a slave
then *real* Jedi training, not 'a few days in the swamp
with Yoda'."

LUKE: "I destroyed your precious Death Star!"

DARTH VADER: "When you were 20! When I was 10, I single-handedly
destroyed a Trade Federation Droid Control ship!"

LUKE: "Well, it's not my fault."

DARTH VADER: "Oh, here we go. 'Poor me, my father never gave me what I
wanted for my birthday, boo hoo, my daddy's the Dark Lord
of the Sith.. waahhh wahhh!'"

LUKE: "Shut up."

DARTH VADER: "You're a slacker! By the time I was your age, I had
exterminated the Jedi knights!"

LUKE: "I used to race my T-16 through Beggar's Canyon!"

DARTH VADER: "Oh, for the love of the Emperor . 10 years old, winner of
the Boonta Eve Open. Only human to ever fly a Pod Racer,
right here baby!"

[Luke looks down the shaft. Takes a step toward it.]

DARTH VADER: "I was wrong. You're not my kid. I don't know whose you
are, but you sure ain't mine."

[Luke takes a step off the platform, hesitates, then plunges down the

[Darth Vader looks after him.]

DARTH VADER: "And get a haircut!"

-- Barry Smith, (listed on http://www.inktank.com/)

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 202

"All is in the hands of man. Therefore wash them often."
--Stanislaw J. Lec

"It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous." --Robert Benchley

"Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired."
--Jules Renard

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Quotations from Brainy Smurf 201

"God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages." --Jacques Deval, writer and director (1895-1972)

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 200

The 200th quotation post! Woo-hoo! K=

"A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day."

--Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

"You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do."
--Henry Ford

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 199

"Remember to never split an infinitive. The passive voice should never be used. Do not put statements in the negative form. Verbs have to agree with their subjects. Proofread carefully to see if you words out. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing. A writer must not shift your point of view. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.) Don't overuse exclamation marks!! Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing. Always pick on the correct idiom. The adverb always follows the verb. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives."
--William Safire's Rules for Writers

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 198

"No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true." --Nathaniel Hawthorne, writer (1804-1864)

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Six Word Short Stories

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 197

"For every ten people who are clipping at the branches of evil, you're lucky to find one who's hacking at the roots." --Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 196

Philosopher, mathematician, and writer, Bertrand Russell once said, "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."

"Seven blunders of the world that lead to violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle." --Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

"It is with words as with sunbeams, the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn." --Robert Southey (1774-1843)

"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning." --George Baker (1877-1965)

"A Severe Strain on the Credulity

As a method of sending a missile to the higher, and even to the highest parts of the earth's atmospheric envelope, Professor Goddard's rocket is a practicable and therefore promising device. It is when one considers the multiple-charge rocket as a traveler to the moon that one begins to doubt ... for after the rocket quits our air and really starts on its journey, its flight would be neither accelerated nor maintained by the explosion of the charges it then might have left. Professor Goddard, with his "chair" in Clark College and countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to re-action, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react ... Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."

--A New York Times Editorial, 1920

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 195

"When you look at yourself from a universal standpoint, something inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about." --Albert Einstein

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision." --Eleanor Roosevelt

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Quotations from Brainy Smurf 194

"Some people change when they see the light, others when they feel the heat." --Caroline Schoeder


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 193

Ford Prefect: So, the hours are good, are they?

Vogon Guard: Yeah. Though now that you come to mention it, most of the actual minutes are pretty lousy.

--The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

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Quotations from Brainy Smurf 192

"The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come." --Peter Ustinov

"It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor." --Neil Gaiman

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 193

"We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate." --Thomas Jefferson, third US president, architect and author (1743-1826)


Quotations from Brainy Smurf 192

"We are told never to cross a bridge until we come to it, but this world is owned by men who have 'crossed bridges' in their imagination far ahead of the crowd." --Anon.


Quotations from Brainy Smurf 191

"I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it." --Terry Pratchett

"Now and then an innocent man is sent to the legislature."
--Kin Hubbard

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 190

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. -William Arthur Ward, college administrator, writer (1921-1994)


Quotations from Brainy Smurf 189

"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them." --George Bernard Shaw


Monday, October 16, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 188

"Advance, and never halt, for advancing is perfection. Advance and do not fear the thorns in the path, for they draw only corrupt blood."
--Kahlil Gibran, "The Visit of Wisdom"

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 187

"Dissent is what rescues democracy from a quiet death behind closed doors." --Lewis H. Lapham, editor (1935- )

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 186

"Before a war military science seems a real science, like astronomy; but after a war it seems more like astrology." --Rebecca West

Note: I have taken a military science course. Two of them, in fact.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 185

"The study of error is not only in the highest degree prophylactic, but it serves as a stimulating introduction to the study of truth." --Walter Lippmann, journalist (1889-1974)

"I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."
–-Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)

"A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought."
--Dorothy L. Sayers

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 184

"Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in." --Leonardo da Vinci

"The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best that you can become." --Harold Taylor

"No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency."
--Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd US President (1882-1945)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 183

"Be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar with few, friend to one, enemy to none." --Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Sometimes the Magic Works

I recently read this book and thought it had some interesting thoughts for writers. Not all of these points are original, but they all have some important insight. I thought I'd put down his list here so I can find it later.

Terry Brooks' rules for writing, from Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life

1. Write What You Know
2. Your Characters Must Behave in a Believable Fashion
3. A Protagonist Must Be Challenged by a Conflict that Requires Resolution
4. Movement Equals Growth; Growth Equals Change; Without Change,
Nothing Happens
5. The Strength of the Protagonist Is Measured by the Threat of the Antagonist
6. Show, Don't Tell
7. Avoid the Grocery-List Approach to Describing Characters
8. Characters Must Always Be in a Story for a Reason
9. Names Are Important
10. Don't Bore the Reader

Those are the major ones anyway -- he says he has minor ones too, but these are sufficient.


Quotations from Brainy Smurf 182

"Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else." --James M. Barrie

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting." --Ernest Rutherford

"When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion." --C.P. Snow, scientist and writer (1905-1980)

"Those who know how to win are much more numerous than those who know how to make proper use of their victories." --Polybius, historian (c. 205-123 BC)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 181

"First love is a kind of vaccination which saves a man from catching the complaint a second time." --Honore de Balzac

"My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?" --Charles M. Schulz

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 180

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." --Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 179

"In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have." --Lee Iacocca, automobile executive (1924- )

"A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity." --Eleanor Roosevelt, diplomat and writer (1884-1962)

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." --Mark Twain