Electrical Sayings Quotes

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You think my first instinct is to protect you. Because you're small, or a girl, or a Stiff. But you're wrong." He leans his face close to mine and wraps his fingers around my chin. His hand smells like metal. When was the last time he held a gun, or a knife? My skin tingles at the point of contact, like he's transmitting electricity through his skin. "My first instinct is to push you until you break, just to see how hard I have to press." he says, his fingers squeezing at the word break. My body tenses at the edge in his voice, so I am coiled as tight as a spring, and I forget to breathe. His dark eyes lifting to mine, he adds, "But I resist it." "Why..." I swallow hard. "Why is that your first instinct?" "Fear doesn't shut you down; it wakes you up. I've seen it. It's fascinating." He releases me but doesn't pull away, his hand grazing my jaw, my neck. "Sometimes I just want to see it again. Want to see you awake.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
It is very frustrating not to be understood in this world. If you say one thing and keep being told that you mean something else, it can make you want to scream. But somewhere in the world there is a place for all of us, whether you are an electric form of decoration, peppermint-scented sweet, a source of timber, or a potato pancake.
Lemony Snicket (The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story)
She wasn’t made to be alone.” “I guess none of us are.” Our eyes meet and an electric tingle runs through me. “She missed you,” I say in a whisper. “Did she?” His voice is a soft caress. His gaze into my eyes is so intense that I swear he sees straight into my soul. “Yes.” Warmth flushes my cheeks. I… “She thought about you all the time.” The candlelight flickers a soft glow along his jawline, along his lips. “I hated losing her.” His voice is a low growl. “I hadn’t realized just how attached I’d gotten.” He reaches and moves a strand of wet hair out of my face. “How dangerously addictive she could be.
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
But let's not be casual about this body, okay?" She nuzzled him back. "It may be your soul that I love, but I'm pretty keen on its vessel, too." Her voice had dropped lower as she spoke, and his response was low and husky in kind. "I can't say I'm sorry to hear that," he said, and brushed his face past hers to kiss a place beneath her ear, sending instant, electric frissons coursing through her body.
Laini Taylor (Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3))
Crowley had always known that he would be around when the world ended, because he was immortal and wouldn’t have any alternative. But he hoped it was a long way off. Because he rather liked people. It was major failing in a demon. Oh, he did his best to make their short lives miserable, because that was his job, but nothing he could think up was half as bad as the stuff they thought up themselves. They seemed to have a talent for it. It was built into the design, somehow. They were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways, and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse. Over the years Crowley had found it increasingly difficult to find anything demonic to do which showed up against the natural background of generalized nastiness. There had been times, over the past millennium, when he’d felt like sending a message back Below saying, Look we may as well give up right now, we might as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here, there’s nothing we can do to them that they don’t do to themselves and they do things we’ve never even thought of, often involving electrodes. They’ve got what we lack. They’ve got imagination. And electricity, of course. One of them had written it, hadn’t he…”Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
how come you're so ugly?" "my life has hardly been pretty — the hospitals, the jails, the jobs, the women, the drinking. some of my critics claim that i have deliberately inflicted myself with pain. i wish that some of my critics had been along with me for the journey. it’s true that i haven't always chosen easy situations but that's a hell of a long ways from saying that i leaped into the oven and locked the door. hangover, the electric needle, bad booze, bad women, madness in small rooms, starvation in the land of plenty, god knows how i got so ugly, i guess it just comes from being slugged and slugged again and again, and not going down, still trying to think, to feel, still trying to put the butterfly back together again…it’s written a map on my face that nobody would ever want to hang on their wall. sometimes i’ll see myself somewhere…suddenly…say in a large mirror in a supermarket…eyes like little mean bugs…face scarred, twisted, yes, i look insane, demented, what a mess…spilled vomit of skin…yet, when i see the “handsome” men i think, my god my god, i’m glad i’m not them
Charles Bukowski (Charles Bukowski: Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews and Encounters 1963-1993)
The next time you want to make a point,' Jude says, 'I beg you not to make it so dramatically.' His shoulder hurts, and she may be right about the iron poisoning. He certainly feels as though his head is swimming. But he smiles up at the trees, the looping electrical lines, the streaks of clouds. 'So long as you're begging,' he says.
Holly Black (How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories (The Folk of the Air, #3.5))
Magic--that's just a label, you know. Completely meaningless. It wasn't so very long ago that people were saying that electricity was magic.
Robert Bloch (Psycho (Psycho, #1))
I think that's what you say when you can't have something you want, isn't it? You say you don't want it in the first place.
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Midnight at the Electric)
At that promise, and him calling me “gorgeous”, an electric spasm went straight through my lower belly and he kissed me and that was it. I’m a slut. I don’t know what to say, even with the emotional scene, I gave in.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick (Rock Chick, #1))
It's like a boulder rolling down a hill - you can watch it and talk about it and scream and say Shit! but you can't stop it. It's just a question of where it's going to go.
Tom Wolfe (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test)
Doubt not, O poet, but persist. Say 'It is in me, and shall out.' Stand there, balked and dumb, stuttering and stammering, hissed and hooted, stand and strive, until at last rage draw out of thee that dream-power which every night shows thee is thine own; a power transcending all limit and privacy, and by virtue of which a man is the conductor of the whole river of electricity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Eleven o'clock had come and gone. I had to find a way to bring this conversation to a successful conclusion and get out of there. But before I could say anything, she suddenly asked me to hold her. 'Why?' I asked, caught off guard. 'To charge my batteries,' she said. 'Charge your batteries?' 'My body has run out of electricity. I haven't been able to sleep for days now. The minute I get to sleep I wake up, and then I can't get back to sleep. I can't think. When I get like that, somebody has to charge my batteries. Otherwise, I can't go on living. It's true.' I peered into her eyes, wondering if she was still drunk, but they were once again her usual cool, intelligent eyes. She was far from drunk.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
We may be only one of millions of advanced civilizations. Unfortunately, space being spacious, the average distance between any two of these civilizations is reckoned to be at least two hundred light-years, which is a great deal more than merely saying it makes it sound. It means for a start that even if these beings know we are here and are somehow able to see us in their telescopes, they're watching light that left Earth two hundred years ago. So, they're not seeing you and me. They're watching the French Revolution and Thomas Jefferson and people in silk stockings and powdered wigs--people who don't know what an atom is, or a gene, and who make their electricity by rubbing a rod of amber with a piece of fur and think that's quite a trick. Any message we receive from them is likely to begin "Dear Sire," and congratulate us on the handsomness of our horses and our mastery of whale oil. Two hundred light-years is a distance so far beyond us as to be, well, just beyond us.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
His mouth twisted into a perceptive, sexy smile. "Hmm." "Hmm?" I looked away, flustered, automatically using irritation to cover my discomfort up. "What does 'hmm' have to do with anything? Could you ever use more than five words? All this grunting and miced words make you come across--primal." His smile tipped higher. "Primal." "You're impossible." "Me Jev, you Nora." "Stop it." But I nearly smiled in spite of myself. "Since we're keeping it primal, you smell good," he observed. Hw moved closer, makin me acutely aware of his size, the rise and fall of his chest, the warm burn of his skin on mine. Electricity tingled along my scalp, and I shuddered with pleasure. "It's called a shower...," I began automatically, then trailed off. My memory snagged, taken aback by a compelling and forceful sense of undue familiarity. "Soap, shampoo, hot water," I added, almost as an afterthought. "Naked. I know the drill," Jev said, something unreadable passing over his eyes. Unsure how to proceed, I attempted to wash away the moment with an airy laugh. "Are you flirting with me, Jev?" "Does it feel that way to you?" "I don't know you well enough to say either way." I tried to keep my voice level, neutral even. "Then we'll have to change that." Still uncertain of his motives, I cleared my throat. Two could play this game. "Running from bad guys together is your idea of playing getting-to-know-you?" "No. This is." He dipped my body backward, drawing me up in a slow arc until he raised me flush against him. In his arms, my joints loosened, my defenses melting as he led me through the sultry steps.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Silence (Hush, Hush, #3))
None of us are going to deny what other people are doing. If saying bullshit is somebody's thing, then he says bullshit. If somebody is an ass-kicker, then that's what he's going to do on this trip, kick asses. He's going to do it right out front and nobody is going to have anything to get pissed off about. He can just say, 'I'm sorry I kicked you in the ass, but I'm not sorry I'm an ass-kicker. That's what I do, I kick people in the ass.' Everybody is going to be what they are, and whatever they are, there's not going to be anything to apologize about. What we are, we're going to wail with on this whole trip.
Tom Wolfe (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test)
You think my first instinct is to protect you. Because you're small, or a girl, or a Stiff. But you're wrong." He leans his face close to mine and wraps his fingers around my chin. His hand smells like metal. When was the last time he held a gun, or a knife? My skin tingles at the point of contact, like he's transmitting electricity through his skin. "My first instinct is to push you until you break, just to see how hard I have to press." he says, his fingers squeezing at the word break. My body tenses at the edge in his voice, so I am coiled as tight as a spring, and I forget to breathe.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
CALL YOURSELF Look deep in the mirror And say: 'I LOVE YOU' And immediately An electric current will Ripple throughout your soul And burst through your eyes Like shooting stars Dancing across the skies In ecstasy. To tell your soul you love it - Is like remembering WHO YOU ARE After being in a coma For a hundred years. Your face will beam the light Of a hundred galaxies.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Thinking of them reminds me of a quote I read recently from the great Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. that says, "If you can't fly, run; if you can't run, walk; if you can't walk, crawl." We must encourage those still struggling to keep moving forward.
William Kamkwamba (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope)
When she looks up again two miles later, she says, “You know what I like about you, Finch? You’re interesting. You’re different. And I can talk to you. Don’t let that go to your head.” The air around us feels charged and electric, like if you were to strike a match, the air, the car, Violet, me—everything might just explode. I keep my eyes on the road. “You know what I like about you, Ultraviolet Remarkey-able? Everything.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
Oh I know it's cliché but yeah they say that great men make it in- To places few others who even do take the risk've ever been
Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
A floorboard cracked; knuckles tapped once on the open door. Adam looked up to see Niall Lynch standing in the doorway. No, it was Ronan, face lit bright on one side, in stark shadow on the other, looking powerful and at ease with his thumbs tucked in the pockets of his jeans, leather bracelets looped over his wrist, feet bare. He wordlessly crossed the floor and sat beside Adam on the mattress. When he held out his hand, Adam put the model into it. “This old thing,” Ronan said. He turned the front tyre, and again the music played out of it. They sat like that for a few minutes, as Ronan examined the car and turned each wheel to play a different tune. Adam watched how intently Ronan studied the seams, his eyelashes low over his light eyes. Ronan let out a breath, put the model down on the bed beside him, and kissed Adam. Once, when Adam had still lived in the trailer park, he had been pushing the lawn mower around the scraggly side yard when he realized that it was raining a mile away. He could smell it, the earthy scent of rain on dirt, but also the electric, restless smell of ozone. And he could see it: a hazy gray sheet of water blocking his view of the mountains. He could track the line of rain travelling across the vast dry field towards him. It was heavy and dark, and he knew he would get drenched if he stayed outside. It was coming from so far away that he had plenty of time to put the mower away and get under cover. Instead, though, he just stood there and watched it approach. Even at the last minute, as he heard the rain pounding the grass flat, he just stood there. He closed his eyes and let the storm soak him. That was this kiss. They kissed again. Adam felt it in more than his lips. Ronan sat back, his eyes closed, swallowing. Adam watched his chest rise and fall, his eyebrows furrow. He felt as bright and dreamy and imaginary as the light through the window. He did not understand anything. It was a long moment before Ronan opened his eyes, and when he did, his expression was complicated. He stood up. He was still looking at Adam, and Adam was looking back, but neither said anything. Probably Ronan wanted something from him, but Adam didn’t know what to say. He was a magician, Persephone had said, and his magic was making connections between disparate things. Only now he was too full of white, fuzzy light to make any sort of logical connections. He knew that of all the options in the world, Ronan Lynch was the most difficult version of any of them. He knew that Ronan was not a thing to be experimented with. He knew his mouth still felt warm. He knew he had started his entire time at Aglionby certain that all he wanted to do was get as far away from this state and everything in it as possible. He was pretty sure he had just been Ronan’s first kiss. “I’m gonna go downstairs,” Ronan said.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
Cosette, in her seclusion, like Marius in his, was all ready to take fire. Destiny, with its mysterious and fatal patience, was slowly bringing these two beings near each other, fully charged and all languishing with the stormy electricities of passion,—these two souls which held love as two clouds hold lightning, and which were to meet and mingle in a glace like clouds in a flash. The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in. Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only. The rest is only the rest, and comes afterwards. Nothing is more real than these great shocks which two souls give each other in exchanging this spark. At that particular moment when Cosette unconsciously looked with this glance which so affected Marius, Marius had no suspicion that he also had a glance which affected Cosette.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Science can make a heart beat,” Jack says softly, each word falling on me like a caress. “But it can’t make it race.
Beth Revis (The Body Electric)
All the lights were off, and I just lay there, trying to pass the hours before I had to get up and go to work, which was impossible when the night was so loud. My neighbor’s electric air conditioner, the bass pumping from other people’s cars. They were all converging together to say one thing: You are alone. You are alone. You are alone. You are truly and really alone.
Ling Ma (Severance)
I once saw a small child go to an electric light switch as say, "Mamma, can I open the light?" She was using the age-old language of exploration, the language of art. It was a sort of metaphor, but she was not using it as ornamentation.
Ezra Pound
Electrical shivers shoot up my leg. And my knee is such a slut! She likes it! She's that friend you have. The one who you tell you're on a diet and the next day shows up with cupcakes and says, Aww, just one won't hurt.
Jillian Dodd (Date Me (The Keatyn Chronicles, #3))
Miss Bridgerton,” he said, “the devil himself couldn’t scare you.” She forced her eyes to meet his. “That’s not a compliment, is it?” He lifted her hand to his lips, brushing a feather-light kiss across her knuckles. “You’ll have to figure that out for yourself,” he murmured. To all who observed, he was the soul of propriety, but Hyacinth caught the daring gleam in his eye, and she felt the breath leave her body as tingles of electricity rushed across her skin. Her lips parted, but she had nothing to say, not a single word. There was nothing but air, and even that seemed in short supply. And then he straightened as if nothing had happened and said, “Do let me know what you decide.” She just stared at him. “About the compliment,” he added. “I am sure you will wish to let me know how I feel about you.” Her mouth fell open. He smiled. Broadly. “Speechless, even. I’m to be commended.” “You—” “No. No,” he said, lifting one hand in the air and pointing toward her as if what he really wanted to do was place his finger on her lips and shush her. “Don’t ruin it. The moment is too rare.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
Sam's eyes studied my lips and I studied hers. We each leaned in closer until our foreheads were touching. It felt like currents of electricity were running through the two of us, making me feel like I was going to melt from the intensity.
Keary Taylor (What I Didn't Say)
Real-time creeps back in, and Lindsay realises the kid's on his knees beside him, saying his name over and over and over. "What?" "Oh, thank fuck... Jesus, you're bleeding like hell." "Thanks, Sherlock." "Can you see a bright white light?" "Yeah." "Oh fuck. Fuck! Okay, listen to me, don't go near it, okay?" "What?" "Stay away from the light." "What are you talking about?" "That's death, innit? Don't go near it, promise me." "I mean I can see the electric lights on the ceiling, you berk." "You berk! You knob, I thought you were dying." "You didn't specify what kind of bright light, you just said bright light, you might've been testing my eyesight." "I ain't fighting with you when you've been shot.
Richard Rider (Stockholm Syndrome (Stockholm Syndrome, #1))
Let me tell you, people go on and on about what a great idea electricity was, but I'm going to put toilet paper right next to the wheel and say those are the best ideas anyone's ever had. Scoff at it if you will, but try living for two millennia without it and then we'll talk.
Kevin Hearne (Kaibab Unbound (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #0.6))
No one is protecting you. You are all alone, aren’t you?” he asks while he lets my elbow drop from his hand. I can no longer see his face clearly because my tears are making it impossible, but unfortunately for him, I’ve found what I’ve been searching for in my bag. “I don’t need anyone to protect me when I have this!” I say in a desperate tone. Pushing the Taser into his side, I release the safety and pull the trigger. The hot, kinetic sizzle of electricity snarls through the gun and into his torso, but Reed doesn’t fall down and start twitching like in the demonstration video. Instead, his eyebrows shoot up in an expression somewhere between disbelief and amazement as he asks, “Are you serious?
Amy A. Bartol
It is remarkable that mind enters into our awareness of nature on two separate levels. At the highest level, the level of human consciousness, our minds are somehow directly aware of the complicated flow of electrical and chemical patterns in our brains. At the lowest level, the level of single atoms and electrons, the mind of an observer is again involved in the description of events. Between lies the level of molecular biology, where mechanical models are adequate and mind appears to be irrelevant. But I, as a physicist, cannot help suspecting that there is a logical connection between the two ways in which mind appears in my universe. I cannot help thinking that our awareness of our own brains has something to do with the process which we call "observation" in atomic physics. That is to say, I think our consciousness is not just a passive epiphenomenon carried along by the chemical events in our brains, but is an active agent forcing the molecular complexes to make choices between one quantum state and another. In other words, mind is already inherent in every electron, and the processes of human consciousness differ only in degree but not in kind from the processes of choice between quantum states which we call "chance" when they are made by electrons.
Freeman Dyson
My father says that trying to stop hate is like trying to stop the tides,” Rashid said. “The best thing you can do is take advantage of it. Don’t stop the tide from flowing. Build a hydroelectric dam and make electricity instead, enough to power ten thousand houses. That’s how you stop hate.
Uzma Jalaluddin (Hana Khan Carries On)
Fuck was the best word. The most dangerous word. You couldn't whisper it. Fuck was always too loud, too late to stop it, it burst in the air above you and fell slowly right over your head. There was total silence, nothing but Fuck floating down. For a few seconds you were dead, waiting for Henno to look up and see Fuck landing on top of you. They were thrilling seconds-when he didn't look up. It was a word you couldn't say anywhere. It wouldn't come out unless you pushed it. It made you feel caught and grabbed you the minute you said it. When it escaped it was like an electric laugh, a soundless gasp followed by the kind of laughing only forbidden things could make, an inside tickle that became a brilliant pain, bashing at your mouth to be let out. It was agony. We didn't waste it.
Roddy Doyle (Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha)
Wait until a year from now where you say, “Holy fuck, I can’t believe I was going to kill myself before I etcetera’d… before I went skinny dipping in Tennessee, made my own IPA, tried out for a game show, rode a camel drunk, learned to waltz with clumsy old people, photographed electric jellyfish, built a sailboat from trash, taught someone how to read, ect. Ect. Etc.” The red washing down the bathtub can’t change the color of the sea at all.
Derrick Brown
Nothing could be more impolite. To say, “Is your sheep genuine?” would be a worse breach of manners.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
I want to go into the sympathy card business. . . Forget sappy messages about overcoming. I want ones that say NOW YOU’LL BE A LESSER PERSON THAN YOU WERE or WE CANNOT POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND or I CAN UNDERSTAND BECAUSE SOMEONE I KNOW DIED TOO or maybe something about how grief can make your skin feel sore and bruised and electric because that’s how my skin has felt ever since, except for my hands.
Courtney Summers (Fall for Anything)
Last reason for reading horror: it’s a rehearsal for death. It’s a way to get ready. People say there’s nothing sure but death and taxes. But that’s not really true. There’s really only death, you know. Death is the biggie. Two hundred years from now, none of us are going to be here. We’re all going to be someplace else. Maybe a better place, maybe a worse place; it may be sort of like New Jersey, but someplace else. The same thing can be said of rabbits and mice and dogs, but we’re in a very uncomfortable position: we’re the only creatures—at least as far as we know, though it may be true of dolphins and whales and a few other mammals that have very big brains—who are able to contemplate our own end. We know it’s going to happen. The electric train goes around and around and it goes under and around the tunnels and over the scenic mountains, but in the end it always goes off the end of the table. Crash.
Stephen King
Every brilliant experiment, like every great work of art, starts with an act of imagination. Unfortunately, our current culture subscribes to a very narrow definition of truth. If something can’t be quantified and calculated, then it can’t be true. Because this strict scientific approach has explained so much, we assume that it can explain everything. But every method, even the experimental method, has limits. Take the human mind. Scientists describe our brain in terms of its physical details; they say we are nothing but a loom of electrical cells and synaptic spaces. What science forgets is that this isn’t how we experience the world. (We feel like the ghost, not like the machine.) It is ironic but true: the one reality science cannot reduce is the only reality we will ever know. This is why we need art. By expressing our actual experience, the artist reminds us that our science is incomplete, that no map of matter will ever explain the immateriality of our consciousness.
Jonah Lehrer (Proust Was a Neuroscientist)
But what is the soul? Some say it is the self, the “I” that inhabits the body; without the soul, the body is like a lightbulb with no electricity. But it is more than the engine of life, say others; it is what gives life meaning and purpose. Soul is the fingerprint of God.
Sy Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness)
And we stood like that. The joining of hands is highly underrated in the acts of intimacy. You kiss acquaintances or colleagues, casually to say hello or good-bye. You might even kiss a close friend chastely on the lips. You might quickly hug anyone you knew. You might even meet someone at a party, take him home and sleep with him, never to see him or hear from him again. But to join hands and stand holding each other that way, with the electricity of possibilities flowing between you? The tenderness of it, the promise of it, is only something you share with a few people in your life.
Lisa Unger (Beautiful Lies (Ridley Jones, #1))
I have lived in the shadow of loss—the kind of loss that can paralyze you forever. I have grieved like a professional mourner—in every waking moment, draining every ounce of my life force. I died—without leaving my body. But I came back, and now it’s your turn. I have learned to remember my past—without living in it. I am strong, electric, and alive, because I chose to dance, to laugh, to love, and to live again. I have learned that you can’t re-create the life you once had—you have to reinvent a life for yourself. And that reinvention is a gift, not a curse. I believe your future self is a work of art and that science can help you create it. If you’re lost . . . if you’re gone . . . if you can barely absorb the words on this page . . . I want you to hold this truth in your heart: when it’s your time to go, you won’t wish you had spent more time grieving; you’ll wish you had spent more time living. That’s why I’m here. And why you are, too. Let’s live like our lives depend on it.
Christina Rasmussen (Second Firsts: Live, Laugh, and Love Again)
There is a man in Bolingbroke who lisps and always testifies in prayer-meeting. He says, ‘If you can’t thine like an electric thtar thine like a candlethtick.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables, #3))
Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, "Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good--" At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.
G.K. Chesterton (Heretics)
It is a well-known established fact throughout the many-dimensional worlds of the multiverse that most really great discoveries are owed to one brief moment of inspiration. There's a lot of spadework first, of course, but what clinches the whole thing is the sight of, say, a falling apple or a boiling kettle or the water slipping over the edge of the bath. Something goes click inside the observer's head and then everything falls into place. The shape of DNA, it is popularly said, owes its discovery to the chance sight of a spiral staircase when the scientist=s mind was just at the right receptive temperature. Had he used the elevator, the whole science of genetics might have been a good deal different. This is thought of as somehow wonderful. It isn't. It is tragic. Little particles of inspiration sleet through the universe all the time traveling through the densest matter in the same way that a neutrino passes through a candyfloss haystack, and most of them miss. Even worse, most of the ones that hit the exact cerebral target, hit the wrong one. For example, the weird dream about a lead doughnut on a mile-high gantry, which in the right mind would have been the catalyst for the invention of repressed-gravitational electricity generation (a cheap and inexhaustible and totally non-polluting form of power which the world in question had been seeking for centuries, and for the lack of which it was plunged into a terrible and pointless war) was in fact had by a small and bewildered duck. By another stroke of bad luck, the sight of a herd of wild horses galloping through a field of wild hyacinths would have led a struggling composer to write the famous Flying God Suite, bringing succor and balm to the souls of millions, had he not been at home in bed with shingles. The inspiration thereby fell to a nearby frog, who was not in much of a position to make a startling contributing to the field of tone poetry. Many civilizations have recognized this shocking waste and tried various methods to prevent it, most of them involving enjoyable but illegal attempts to tune the mind into the right wavelength by the use of exotic herbage or yeast products. It never works properly.
Terry Pratchett (Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind, #3))
The thin red jellies within you or within me, the bones and the marrow in the bones, The exquisite realization of health; O I say these are not the parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul, O I say now these are the soul!
Walt Whitman
Later, I remember to tell Ben about the girl. “Seconds!” I say, but he is unmoved. “People always talk about email and phones and how they alienate us from one another, but these sorts of fears about technology have always been with us,” he claims. When electricity was first introduced to homes, there were letters to the newspapers about how it would undermine family togetherness. Now there would be no need to gather around a shared hearth, people fretted. In 1903, a famous psychologist worried that young people would lose their connection to dusk and its contemplative moments. Hahaha! (Except when was the last time I stood still because it was dusk?)
Jenny Offill (Weather)
I saw thee once - only once - years ago: I must not say how many - but not many. It was a July midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber, Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared stir, unless on tiptoe - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light, Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in the parterre, enchanted By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell upon the upturn'd faces of the roses, And on thine own, upturn'd - alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight - Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow,) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footsteps stirred: the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven! - oh, G**! How my heart beats in coupling those two words!) Save only thee and me. I paused - I looked - And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind the garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out: The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All - all expired save thee - save less than thou: Save only divine light in thine eyes - Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them - they were the world to me. I saw but them - saw only them for hours - Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a wo! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition! yet how deep - How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into a western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go - they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me - they lead me through the years. They are my ministers - yet I their slave. Their office is to illumine and enkindle - My duty, to be saved by their bright fire, And purified in their electric fire, And sanctified in their elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope,) And are far up in Heaven - the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still - two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven and Other Poems)
I'm a peasant I'm the muzhik A pest you're destined to play the music And yes it's pleasant to say it's beauty I'm Indebted to rest respecting it truly
Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
I’m on fire when I look at you,” he says, his voice reverent and his gaze electric on me. “You decimated me just now.
Katy Evans (Legend (Real, #6))
Body Electric" Elvis is my daddy, Marilyn’s my mother, Jesus is my bestest friend. We don’t need nobody 'Cause we got each other, Or at least I pretend. We get down every Friday night, Dancin’ and grindin’ in the pale moonlight. Grand Ole Opry, we're feelin’ alright, Mary prays the rosary for my broken mind. (I said don't worry about it) [Chorus:] I sing the body electric, I sing the body electric, baby. I sing the body electric, I sing the body electric, Sing that body electric, Sing that body electric. I’m on fire, Sing that body electric. Whitman is my daddy, Monaco’s my mother, Diamonds are my bestest friend. Heaven is my baby, suicide’s her father, Opulence is the end. We get down every Friday night, Dancin’ and grindin’ in the pale moonlight. Grand Ole Opry, we're feelin’ alright, Mary prays the rosary for my broken mind. (I said don't worry about it) [Chorus:] I sing the body electric, I sing the body electric, baby. I sing the body electric, I sing the body electric, Sing that body electric, Sing that body electric. I’m on fire, Sing that body electric. My clothes still smell like you, And all the photographs say you’re still young. I pretend I’m not hurt And go about the world like I’m havin’ fun. We get crazy every Friday night, Drop it like it’s hot in the pale moonlight. Grand Ole Opry, feelin' all right Mary's swayin’ softly to her heart's delight. I sing the body electric, I sing the body electric, baby. I sing the body electric, I sing the body electric, Sing that body electric, Sing that body electric. I’m on fire, Sing that body electric. I sing the body electric, baby. I sing the body electric, baby. I sing the body electric, baby.
Lana Del Rey
What is the colour of Christmas? Red? The red of the toyshops on a dark winter’s afternoon, Of Father Christmas and the robin’s breast? Or green? Green of holly and spruce and mistletoe in the house, dark shadow of summer in leafless winter? One might plainly add a romance of white, fields of frost and snow; thus white, green, red- reducing the event to the level of a Chianti bottle. But many will say that the significant colour is gold, gold of fire and treasure, of light in the winter dark; and this gets closer, For the true colour of Christmas is Black. Black of winter, black of night, black of frost and of the east wind, black of dangerous shadows beyond the firelight. I am not sure who wrote this. I got it from page nine of “A Book of Christmas” by William Sansom. Google didn’t help. It is rather true I think, that the true color of Christmas is black. For like the author said in succeeding sentences “The table yellow with electric light, the fire by which stories are told, the bright spangle of the tree- they all blazé out of shadow and out of a darkness of winter
William Sansom
A person has all sorts of lags built into him Kesey is saying. Once the most basic is the sensory lag the lag between the time your senses receive something and you are able to react. One-thirtieth of a second is the time it takes if you are the most alert person alive and most people are a lot slower than that.... You can't go any faster than that... We are all doomed to spend the rest of our lives watching a movies of our lives - we are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1 30th of a second ago. We think we are in the present but we aren't. The present we know is only a movies of the past and we will really never be able to control the present through ordinary means.
Tom Wolfe (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test)
Me, while I'm heading west, asleep at Mach 0.83, or 455 miles an hour, or true airspeed, the FBI is bomb-squading my suitcase on a vacated runway back in Dulles. Nine out of ten times, the security task force guy says, the vibration is an electric razor. The other time, it's a vibrating dildo. Imagine, the task force guy says, telling a passenger on arrival that a dildo kept her baggage on the East Coast. Sometimes it's even a man. It's airline policy not to imply ownership in the event of a dildo. Use the indefinite article. A dildo. Never your dildo. Never say the dildo accidentally turned itself on. A dildo activated itself and created an emergency situation that required the evacuating of your baggage.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
I sing the Equalities, modern or old, I sing the endless finales of things; I say Nature continues—Glory continues; I praise with electric voice; For I do not see one imperfection in the universe; And I do not see one cause or result lamentable at last in the universe. O setting sun! though the time has come, I still warble under you, if none else does, unmitigated adoration.
Walt Whitman
You okay?" he says, touching my cheek. His hand cradles the side of my head, his long fingers slipping through my hair. He smiles and holds my head in place as he kisses me. Heat spreads through me slowly.And fear, buzzing like an alarm in my chest. His lips still on mine,he pushes the jacket from my shoulders.I flinch when I hear it drop,and push him back,my eyes burning. I don't know why I feel this way. I didn't feel like this when he kissed me on the train.I press my palms to my face,covering my eyes. "What? What's wrong?" I shake my head. "Don't tell me it's nothing." His voice is cold.He grabs my arm. "Hey. Look at me." I take my hands from my face and lift my eyes to his.The hurt in his eyes and the anger in his clenched jaw surprise me. "Sometimes I wonder," I say,as calmly as I can, "what's in it for you. This...whatever it is." "What's in it for me," he repeats. He steps back,shaking his head. "You're an idiot,Tris." "I am not an idiot," I say. "Which is why I know that it's a little weird that,of all the girls you could have chosen,you chose me.So if you're just looking for...um,you know...that..." "What? Sex?" He scowls at me. "You know, if that was all I wanted, you probably wouldn't be the first person I would go to." I feel like he just punched me in the stomach. Of course I'm not the first person he would go to-not the first, not the prettiest,not desirable. I press my hands to my abdomen and look away, fighting off tears. I am not the crying type.Nor am I the yelling type. I blink a few times, lower my hands, and stare up at him. "I'm going to leave now," I say quietly. And I turn toward the door. "No,Tris." He grabs my wrist and wrenches me back. I push him away,hard, but he grabs my other wrist, holding our crossed arms between us. "I'm sorry I said that," he says. "What I meant was that you aren't like that. Which I knew when I met you." "You were an obstacle in my fear landscape." My lower lip wobbles. "Did you know that?" "What?" He releases my wrists, and the hurt look is back. "You're afraid of me?" "Not you," I say. I bite my lip to keep it still. "Being with you...with anyone. I've never been involved with someone before,and...you're older, and I don't know what your expectations are,and..." "Tris," he says sternly, "I don't know what delusion you're operating under,but this is all new to me, too." "Delusion?" I repeat. "You mean you haven't..." I raise my eyebrows. "Oh. Oh.I just assumed..." That because I am so absorbed by him, everyone else must be too. "Um. You know." "Well,you assumed wrong." He looks away. His cheeks are bright,like he's embarrassed. "You can tell me anything, you know," he says. He takes my face in his hands,his fingertips cold and his palms warm. "I am kinder than I seemed in training. I promise." I believe him.But this has nothing to do with his kindness. He kisses me between the eyebrows, and on the tip of my nose,and then carefully fits his mouth to mine. I am on edge.I have electricity coursing through my veins instead of blood. I want him to kiss me,I want him to; I am afraid of where it might go.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
To Helen I saw thee once-once only-years ago; I must not say how many-but not many. It was a july midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light Thier odorous souls in an ecstatic death- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted by thee, by the poetry of thy prescence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell on the upturn'd faces of the roses And on thine own, upturn'd-alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate that, on this july midnight- Was it not Fate (whose name is also sorrow) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footstep stirred; the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh Heaven- oh, God! How my heart beats in coupling those two worlds!) Save only thee and me. I paused- I looked- And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind this garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out; The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All- all expired save thee- save less than thou: Save only the divine light in thine eyes- Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them- they were the world to me. I saw but them- saw only them for hours- Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a woe! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition!yet how deep- How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go- they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me- they lead me through the years. They are my ministers- yet I thier slave Thier office is to illumine and enkindle- My duty, to be saved by thier bright light, And purified in thier electric fire, And sanctified in thier Elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope), And are far up in heaven- the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still- two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe
Jezebel’s wearing a pair of electric blue maternity pants and a black bedazzled maternity shirt that says ‘Bitch’ across her large breasts.
Bink Cummings (The Diary of Bink Cummings: Vol 1 (MC Chronicles, #1))
I guess people are right when they say that time helps grief. I don't agree that it heals, but maybe it wraps our losses up deeper and deeper inside so we can get on with being alive.
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Midnight at the Electric)
We ate, did our homework, got good grades, kissed our parents goodnight and always had the secret door and shared experiences to go to. It was truly remarkable, and doing it as a group made us feel invulnerable. As soon as the drums and amps were set up and Jean and Kathie hit it, I tell you there was nothing more to say. Conversation stopped, and the magic carpet ride took off. I’ve never felt anything more powerful in my life.
June Millington (Land of a Thousand Bridges: Island Girl in a Rock & Roll World)
One thing I will say, they often take it better than a man. Pain, that is. Probably the residue of tolerance from when they were all bloody witches and got stoned or burned or drowned for it, eh lad? Never tell your mother I said that, by the way.
Sarah Hall (The Electric Michelangelo)
I know. But I hate weddings.” “Because of Darcy?” “Because a wedding is a ceremony where a symbolic virgin surrounded by women in ugly dresses marries a hungover groom accompanied by friends he hasn’t seen in years but made them show up anyway. After that, there’s a reception where the guests are held hostage for two hours with nothing to eat except lukewarm chicken winglets or those weird coated almonds, and the DJ tries to brainwash everyone into doing the electric slide and the Macarena, which some drunk idiots always go for. The only good part about a wedding is the free booze.” “Can you say that again?” Sam asked. “Because I might want to write it down and use it as part of my speech.
Lisa Kleypas (Dream Lake (Friday Harbor, #3))
The Electric Monk's day was going tremendously well and he broke into an excited gallop. That is to say that, excitedly, he spurred his horse to a gallop and, unexcitedly, his horse broke into it.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
She went away, and the fireflies, on their electric circuits, fluttered after her like an errant constellation, showing her how to walk in darkness. I heard her say, faintly, "We've got to try, anyway.
Ray Bradbury (R is for Rocket)
Haymitch isn't thinking of arenas, but something else. "Johanna's back in the hospital." I assumed Johanna was fine, had passed her exam, but simply wasn't assigned to a sharp shooters' unit. She's wicked with a throwing axe but about average with a gun. "Is she hurt? What happened?" "It was while she was on the Block. They try to ferret out a soldier's potential weakness. So they flooded the street, " says Haymitch. This doesn't help. Johanna can swim. At least, I seem to remember her swimming around some in the Quarter Quell. Not like Finnick, of course, but none of us are like Finnick. "So?" "That's how they tortured her in the Capitol. Soaked her then used electric shocks," says Haymitch. "In the Block, she had some kind of flashback. Panicked, didn't know where she was. She's back under sedation." Finnick and I just stand there as if we've lost the ability to respond. I think of the way Johanna never showers. How she forced herself into the rain like it was acid that day. I had attributed her misery to morphling withdrawal. "You two should go see her. You're as close to friends as she's got," says Haymitch. That makes the whole thing worse. I don't really know what's between Johanna and Finnick, but I hardly know her. No family. No friends.Not so much as a token from District 7 to set beside her regulation clothes in her anonymous drawer. Nothing.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Let’s talk about rape for a moment. Rape is not what George Lucas did to your childhood. Rape is not what happens when a sports team beats another sports team by a wide margin. Rape is not what happens when your electric bill is higher this month than it was last month. Rape is when a person violates another person in the most despicable, degrading way imaginable and among the myriad of terrible things humans can do to one another, rape is among the worst. I think the casual misappropriation of the concept of rape extending all the way to its widespread comical usage is disgusting even by Internet standards. Off my chest.
Jeffrey Rowland
There had been times, over the past millenium, when he'd felt like sending a message back Below saying, Look, we may as well give up right now, we might as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here, there's nothing we can do to them that they don't do to themselves and they do things we've never even though of, often involving electrodes. They've got what we lack. They've got imagination. And electricity, of course.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
And then the Archbishop offered his final and most effective remedy: reframing. “The very best is being able to ask yourself, ‘Why do I want to have a house that has seven rooms when there are only two or three of us? Why do I want to have it?’ And you can turn it on its head and look at how we are in such a mess with climate change because of our galloping consumption, which for the environment has been nothing less than disastrous. So you buy the small electric car instead, and you say, no I don’t need or want that big luxury car. So instead of it being your enemy, now it’s your ally.” Jinpa
Dalai Lama XIV (The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World)
…you know, sometimes an electric lightbulb goes out all of a sudden. Fizzles, you say. And this burned-out bulb, if you shake it, it flashes again and it’ll burn a little longer. Inside the bulb it’s a disaster. The wolfram filaments are breaking up, and when the fragments touch, life returns to the bulb. A brief, unnatural, undeniably doomed life—a fever, a too-bright incandescence, a flash. The comes the darkness, life never returns, and in the darkness the dead, incinerated filaments are just going to rattle around. Are you following me? But the brief flash is magnificent! “I want to shake… “I want to shake the heart of a fizzled era. The lightbulb of the heart, so that the broken pieces touch… “…and produce a beautiful, momentary flash…
Yury Olesha (Envy)
unlike, say, the sun, or the rainbow, or earthquakes, the fascinating world of the very small never came to the notice of primitive peoples. if you think about this for a minute, it's not really surprising.. they had no way of even knowing it was there, and so of course they didn't invent any myths to explain it. it wasn't until the microscope was invented in the sixteenth century that people discovered that ponds and lakes, soil and dust, even our body, teem with tiny living creatures, too small to see, yet too complicated and, in their own way, beautiful, or perhaps frightening, depending on how you think about them. the whole world is made of incredibly tiny things, much too small to be visible to the naked eye - and yet none of the myths or so-called holy books that some people, even now, think were given to us by an all knowing god, mentions them at all. in fact, when you look at those myths and stories, you can see that they don't contain any of the knowledge that science has patiently worked out. they don't tell us how big or how old the universe is; they don't tell us how to treat cancer; they don't explain gravity or the internal combustion engine; they don't tell us about germs, or nuclear fusion, or electricity, or anaesthetics. in fact, unsurprisingly, the stories in holy books don't contain any more information about the world than was known to the primitive people who first started telling them. if these 'holly books' really were written, or dictated, or inspired, by all knowing gods, don't you think it's odd that those gods said nothing about any of these important and useful things?
Richard Dawkins (The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True)
I "dated" one boy and our song was "Faithfully" by Journey. Every time it played my body would turn electric, and I would stare out whatever window I was near and reminisce about experiences I hadn't had. Is there a word for when you are young and pretending to have lived and loved a thousand lives? Is there a German word for that? Seems like there should be. Let's say it is Schaufenfrieglasploit.
Amy Poehler
A person has all sorts of lags built into him, Kesey is saying. One, the most basic, is the sensory lag, the lag between the time your senses receive something and you are able to react. One-thirtieth of a second is the time it takes, if you are the most alert person alive, and most people are a lot slower than that. Now Cassady is right up against that 1/30th of a second barrier. He is going as fast as a human can go, but even he can't overcome it. He is a living example of how close you can come, but it can't be done. You can't go any faster than that. You can't through sheer speed overcome the lag. We are all of us doomed to spend the rest of our lives watching a movie of our lives - we are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we are in the present, but we aren't. The present we know is only a movie of the past, and we will really never be able to control the present through ordinary means. That lag has to be overcome some other way, through some kind of total breakthrough.
Tom Wolfe (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test)
Of course, he was in favor of Armageddon in general terms. If anyone had asked him why he'd been spending centuries tinkering in the affairs of mankind he'd have said, "Oh, in order to bring about Armageddon and the triumph of Hell." But it was one thing to work to bring it about, and quite another for it to actually happen. Crowley had always known that he would be around when the world ended, because he was immortal and wouldn't have any alternative. But he'd hoped it would be a long way off. Because he rather liked people. It was a major failing in a demon. Oh, he did his best to make their short lives miserable, because that was his job, but nothing he could think up was half as bad as the stuff they thought up themselves. They seemed to have a talent for it. It was built into the design, somehow. They were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways, and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse. Over the years Crowley had found it increasingly difficult to find anything demonic to do which showed up against the natural background of generalized nastiness. There had been times, over the past millenium, when he'd felt like sending a message back Below saying, Look, we may as well give up right now, we might as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here, there's nothing we can do to them that they don't do to themselves and they do things we've never even though of, often involving electrodes. They've got what we lack. They've got imagination. And electricity, of course.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
Explosion is a beautiful word an a very big one. Later I learned others, the kind you can whisper only when you're alone. Inexorable. Ornamentation. Profile. Catastrophic. Electrical. District Nurse. They get bigger and bigger if you say them over and over again. You whisper and whisper and let the word grow untilnothing exists except the word.
Tove Jansson
Don’t you miss it, any of it?' … 'I couldn’t say.' She thought about it. 'Not cars or electric lights, not movies. Books I can get if I ask. But walking around in a library, putting my hands on books I never knew about, that I miss. Any thing else, I don’t know.
Barbara Kingsolver (Prodigal Summer)
It is over, isn’t it?” Trustingly, he seemed to be waiting for her to tell him, as if she would know. As if hearing himself say it meant nothing; he had a dubious attitude toward his own words; they didn’t become real, not until she agreed. “It’s over,” she said.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
Thinking! Thinking! The process should no longer be merely this feeble flurry of hailstones that raises a little dust. It should be something quite different. Thinking should be a terrifying process. When the earth thinks, whole towns crumble to the ground and thousands of people die. Thinking: raising boulders, hollowing out valleys, preparing tidal waves at sea. Thinking like a town: that's to say: eight million inhabitants, twelve million rats, nine million pints of carbon dioxide, two billion tons. Grey light. Cathedral of light. Din. Sudden flashes. Low-lying blanket of black cloud. Flat roofs. Fire alarms. Elevators. Streets. Eighteen thousand miles of streets. 145 million electric light bulbs.
J.M.G. Le Clézio (The Book of Flights)
I'd say we're all just ghosts on a wire seeking the prick of an electric thought.
Robert Fanney
mesencephalon saying YOU ARE HIGH and the other half saying, Nevertheless YOU ARE GOD
Tom Wolfe (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test)
The Santa Ana Wind gusts down desert canyons. Hot. Dry. Electric. Some say it ignites tempers. I say it ignited us.
Kristin Elizabeth Clark (Freakboy)
They say memory jolts awake with trauma's electricity.
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
Besides,” he says, “every hero I know is soaked in blood.
Beth Revis (The Body Electric)
Suddenly William loomed over him, scowling, snarling and bloody, his suit dirt-stained and ripped. “Do you know. How many strands. Of hair I lost. On my way down?” Whatever. “Math was never my thing, but I’m gonna say you lost…a lot.” Electric-blues glittered with menace. “You are a cruel, sadistic bastard. My hair needs TLC and you…you… Damn you! I’ve gutted men for less.” “I know. I’ve watched you.” Paris lumbered to his feet and scanned the rocky bank they stood upon, the crimson ocean lapping and bubbling in every direction. The drawbridge was only a fifty-yard dash away. “Don’t kill the messenger, but I’m thinking you should change your dating profile to balding.” Masculine cheeks went scarlet as the big bad warrior struggled for a comeback. … “One of these days you’re going to wake up,” William finally said, “and I will have shaved you. Everywhere.” “Won’t make a difference. Women will still want me. But you know what else? What I did to you wasn’t cruel, Willy.” He offered the warrior a white-flag grin. A trick. A lie. “This, however, is.” He grabbed William by the wrist, swung the man around and around before at last releasing him and hurling his body directly onto the bridge.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld, #9))
In that memorable year, 1822: Oersted, a Danish physicist, held in his hands a piece of copper wire, joined by its extremities to the two poles of a Volta pile. On his table was a magnetized needle on its pivot, and he suddenly saw (by chance you will say, but chance only favours the mind which is prepared) the needle move and take up a position quite different from the one assigned to it by terrestrial magnetism. A wire carrying an electric current deviates a magnetized needle from its position. That, gentlemen, was the birth of the modern telegraph.
Louis Pasteur
A universal law of economics says the moment something becomes free and ubiquitous, its position in the economic equation suddenly inverts. When nighttime electrical lighting was new and scarce, it was the poor who burned common candles. Later, when electricity became easily accessible and practically free, our preference flipped and candles at dinner became a sign of luxury. In
Kevin Kelly (The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future)
Finally, it is also worth noting that nearly every institution of post-independence India has been spearheaded by Brahminical elites. Their dismal performance in delivering even basic social services to the majority of Indians—of education, health, water, sanitation, and electricity—says volumes about their ‘merit’ and argues against leaving them in control of these institutions.
Namit Arora (The Lottery of Birth: On Inherited Social Inequalities)
The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen is encapsulated by these four points: ▪ When one past thought has ceased and a future thought has not yet risen, in that gap, in between, isn’t there a consciousness of the present moment; fresh, virgin, unaltered by even a hair’s breadth of a concept, a luminous, naked awareness? Well, that is what Rigpa is! ▪ Yet it doesn’t stay in that state forever, because another thought suddenly arises, doesn’t it? This is the self-radiance of that Rigpa. ▪ However, if you do not recognize this thought for what it really is, the very instant it arises, then it will turn into just another ordinary thought, as before. This is called the “chain of delusion,” and is the root of samsara. ▪ If you are able to recognize the true nature of the thought as soon as it arises, and leave it alone without any follow-up, then whatever thoughts arise all automatically dissolve back into the vast expanse of Rigpa and are liberated. Clearly this takes a lifetime of practice to understand and realize the full richness and majesty of these four profound yet simple points, and here I can only give you a taste of the vastness of what is meditation in Dzogchen. … Dzogchen meditation is subtly powerful in dealing with the arisings of the mind, and has a unique perspective on them. All the risings are seen in their true nature, not as separate from Rigpa, and not as antagonistic to it, but actually as none other–and this is very important–than its “self-radiance,” the manifestation of its very energy. Say you find yourself in a deep state of stillness; often it does not last very long and a thought or a movement always arises, like a wave in the ocean.  Don’t reject the movement or particulary embrace the stillness, but continue the flow of your pure presence. The pervasive, peaceful state of your meditation is the Rigpa itself, and all risings are none other than this Rigpa’s self-radiance. This is the heart and the basis of Dzogchen practice. One way to imagine this is as if you were riding on the sun’s rays back to the sun: …. Of couse there are rough as well as gentle waves in the ocean; strong emotions come, like anger, desire, jealousy. The real practitioner recognizes them not as a disturbance or obstacle, but as a great opportunity. The fact that you react to arisings such as these with habitual tendencies of attachment and aversion is a sign not only that you are distracted, but also that you do not have the recognition and have lost the ground of Rigpa. To react to emotions in this way empowers them and binds us even tighter in the chains of delusion. The great secret of Dzogchen is to see right through them as soon as they arise, to what they really are: the vivid and electric manifestation of the energy of Rigpa itself. As you gradually learn to do this, even the most turbulent emotions fail to seize hold of you and dissolve, as wild waves rise and rear and sink back into the calm of the ocean. The practitioner discovers–and this is a revolutionary insight, whose subtlety and power cannot be overestimated–that not only do violent emotions not necessarily sweep you away and drag you back into the whirlpools of your own neuroses, they can actually be used to deepen, embolden, invigorate, and strengthen the Rigpa. The tempestuous energy becomes raw food of the awakened energy of Rigpa. The stronger and more flaming the emotion, the more Rigpa is strengthened.
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
Your past doesn't actually exist. What you think is your past is a tiny blip of electricity in your brain happening right now. And if that's happening now, what's actually happening right now isn't really happening for you at all. This is what it is meant when people say, "live in the present.
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing)
My own acid-eating experience is limited in terms of total consumption, but widely varied as to company and circumstances ... and if I had a choice of repeating any one of the half dozen bouts I recall, I would choose one of those Hell's Angels parties in La Honda, complete with all the mad lighting, cops on the road, a Ron Boise sculpture looming out of the woods, and all the big speakers vibrating with Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." It was a very electric atmosphere. If the Angels lent a feeling of menace, they also made it more interesting ... and far more alive than anything likely to come out of a controlled experiment or a politely brittle gathering of well-educated truth-seekers looking for wisdom in a capsule. Dropping acid with the Angels was an adventure; they were too ignorant to know what to expect, and too wild to care. They just swallowed the stuff and hung on ... which is probably just as dangerous as the experts say, but a far, far nuttier trip than sitting in some sterile chamber with a condescending guide and a handful of nervous, would-be hipsters.
Hunter S. Thompson (Hell's Angels)
Captain,” I said after ten steps, without breaking stride. “I do understand that this is the Genitalia Festival. But when you say genitalia, doesn’t that usually mean genitals generally? Not just one kind?” For all the steps I’d taken, and as far down the corridor as I could see, the walls were hung with tiny penises. Bright green, hot pink, electric blue, and a particularly eye-searing orange.
Ann Leckie (Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch, #2))
I've made a discovery, and it's that grief isn't like sadness at all. Sadness is only something that's part of you. Grief becomes you, it wraps you up and changes you and makes everything--every little thing--different than it was before. I remember the me before we got the telegram saying he was gone, but it's like I'm remembering someone else. It feels like an earthquake has gone through me...
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Midnight at the Electric)
Ah, well! then the young woman was only in advance of the age," said Miss Archer; "and what with that and the telephone, and that dreadful phonograph that bottles up all one says and disgorges at inconvenient times, we will soon be able to do everything by electricity; who knows but some genius will invent something for the especial use of lovers? something, for instance, to carry in their pockets, so when they are far away from each other, and pine for a sound of 'that beloved voice,' they will have only to take up this electrical apparatus, put it to their ears, and be happy. Ah! blissful lovers of the future!
Ella Cheever Thayer (Wired Love: A Romance of Dots and Dashes)
I have to admit we are locked in the most exquisite mysterious muck. This muck heaves and palpitates. It is multi-directional and has a mayor. To describe it takes many hundreds of thousands of words. Our muck is only a part of a much greater muck -- the nation-state -- which is itself the creation of that muck of mucks, human consciousness. Of course all these things also have a touch of sublimity -- as when Moonbelly sings, for example, or all the lights go out. What a happy time that was, when all the electricity went away! If only we could re-create that paradise! By, for instance, all forgetting to pay our electric bills at the same time. All nine million of us. Then we'd all get those little notices that say unless we remit within five days the lights will go out. We all stand up from our chairs with the notice in ours hands. The same thought drifts across the furrowed surface of nine million minds. We wink at each other, through the walls.
Donald Barthelme (Sixty Stories)
Beetee's glad we find the plan hard to follow, because then our enemies will, too. Like your electricity trap in the arena? I ask. Exactly. And see how well that worked out? says Beetee. Well...not really, I think.
Suzanne Collins
Fate, with its mysterious and inexorable patience, was slowly bringing together these two beings charged, like thunder-clouds, with electricity, with the latent forces of passion, and destined to meet and mingle in a look as clouds do in a lightning-flash. So much has been made in love-stories of the power of a glance that we have ended by undervaluing it. We scarcely dare say in these days that two persons fell in love because their eyes met. Yet that is how one falls in love and in no other way. What remains is simply what remains, and it comes later. Nothing is more real than the shock two beings sustain when that spark flies between them.
Victor Hugo
He wordlessly crossed the floor and sat beside Adam on the mattress. When he held out his hand, Adam put the model into it. “This old thing,” Ronan said. He turned the front tyre, and again the music played out of it. They sat like that for a few minutes, as Ronan examined the car and turned each wheel to play a different tune. Adam watched how intently Ronan studied the seams, his eyelashes low over his light eyes. Ronan let out a breath, put the model down on the bed beside him, and kissed Adam. Once, when Adam had still lived in the trailer park, he had been pushing the lawn mower around the scraggly side yard when he realized that it was raining a mile away. He could smell it, the earthy scent of rain on dirt, but also the electric, restless smell of ozone. And he could see it: a hazy gray sheet of water blocking his view of the mountains. He could track the line of rain travelling across the vast dry field towards him. It was heavy and dark, and he knew he would get drenched if he stayed outside. It was coming from so far away that he had plenty of time to put the mower away and get under cover. Instead, though, he just stood there and watched it approach. Even at the last minute, as he heard the rain pounding the grass flat, he just stood there. He closed his eyes and let the storm soak him. That was this kiss. They kissed again. Adam felt it in more than his lips. Ronan sat back, his eyes closed, swallowing. Adam watched his chest rise and fall, his eyebrows furrow. He felt as bright and dreamy and imaginary as the light through the window. He did not understand anything. It was a long moment before Ronan opened his eyes, and when he did, his expression was complicated. He stood up. He was still looking at Adam, and Adam was looking back, but neither said anything. Probably Ronan wanted something from him, but Adam didn’t know what to say. He was a magician, Persephone had said, and his magic was making connections between disparate things. Only now he was too full of white, fuzzy light to make any sort of logical connections. He knew that of all the options in the world, Ronan Lynch was the most difficult version of any of them. He knew that Ronan was not a thing to be experimented with. He knew his mouth still felt warm. He knew he had started his entire time at Aglionby certain that all he wanted to do was get as far away from this state and everything in it as possible. He was pretty sure he had just been Ronan’s first kiss.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
They say officials love to serve the people, so why do they treat the common folk as enemies? Heavy taxes and under-the-table levies, like ravenous beasts, force the farmers to head for the hills. The common folk have a bellyful of grievances, but they dare not let them out. For the moment they open their mouths, electric prods close them fast.
Mo Yan (The Garlic Ballads)
I smack into him as if shoved from behind. He doesn't budge, not an inch. Just holds my shoulders and waits. Maybe he's waiting for me to find my balance. Maybe he's waiting for me to gather my pride. I hope he's got all day. I hear people passing on the boardwalk and imagine them staring. Best-case scenario, they think I know this guy, that we're hugging. Worst-case scenario, they saw me totter like an intoxicated walrus into this complete stranger because I was looking down for a place to park our beach stuff. Either way, he knows what happened. He knows why my cheek is plastered to his bare chest. And there is definite humiliation waiting when I get around to looking up at him. Options skim through my head like a flip book. Option One: Run away as fast as my dollar-store flip flops can take me. Thing is, tripping over them is partly responsible for my current dilemma. In fact, one of them is missing, probably caught in a crack of the boardwalk. I'm getting Cinderella didn't feel this foolish, but then again, Cinderella wasn't as clumsy as an intoxicated walrus. Option two: Pretend I've fainted. Go limp and everything. Drool, even. But I know this won't work because my eyes flutter too much to fake it, and besides, people don't blush while unconscious. Option Three: Pray for a lightning bolt. A deadly one that you feel in advance because the air gets all atingle and your skin crawls-or so the science books say. It might kill us both, but really, he should have been paying more attention to me when he saw that I wasn't paying attention at all. For a shaved second, I think my prayers are answered because I go get tingly all over; goose bumps sprout everywhere, and my pulse feels like electricity. Then I realize, it's coming from my shoulders. From his hands. Option Last: For the love of God, peel my cheek off his chest and apologize for the casual assault. Then hobble away on my one flip-flop before I faint. With my luck, the lightning would only maim me, and he would feel obligated to carry me somewhere anyway. Also, do it now. I ease away from him and peer up. The fire on my cheeks has nothing to do with the fact that it's sweaty-eight degrees in the Florida sun and everything to do with the fact that I just tripped into the most attractive guy on the planet. Fan-flipping-tastic. "Are-are you all right?" he says, incredulous. I think I can see the shape of my cheek indented on his chest. I nod. "I'm fine. I'm used to it. Sorry." I shrug off his hands when he doesn't let go. The tingling stays behind, as if he left some of himself on me. "Jeez, Emma, are you okay?" Chloe calls from behind. The calm fwopping of my best friend's sandals suggests she's not as concerned as she sounds. Track star that she is, she would already be at my side if she thought I was hurt. I groan and face her, not surprised that she's grinning wide as the equator. She holds out my flip-flop, which I try not to snatch from her hand. "I'm fine. Everybody's fine," I say. I turn back to the guy, who seems to get more gorgeous by the second. "You're fine, right? No broken bones or anything?" He blinks, gives a slight nod. Chloe setts her surfboard against the rail of the boardwalk and extends her hand to him. He accepts it without taking his eyes off me. "I'm Chloe and this is Emma," she says. "We usually bring her helmet with us, but we left it back in the hotel room this time.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
As we were about to cross the road, Davin suddenly grabbed my wrist and held me back a moment; a car peeled out of the driveway and roared past us. “Geez,” I gasped, and then, glancing at him curiously, I added, “Thanks.” He didn’t say anything, but slowly released my wrist. Before he completely withdrew, I took his hand and interlaced my fingers through his. He looked at me, his lips parted in surprise, but then he smiled shyly and gave my hand a squeeze as we kept walking. It gave me a feeling of nervous flutters in the best way. As we walked up to the doors, Jill and Laurel came bursting out the exit.
J.M. Richards (Tall, Dark Streak of Lightning (Dark Lightning Trilogy, #1))
Carson leaned back in his chair. “You’re still gorgeous, if you don’t mind me saying. I like this natural look. I didn’t know what to expect when you agreed to meet. I’ve only seen you at the club, so I had no idea what you’d wear outside in the real world, but I like it. I don’t know about the baseball team itself, but the cap is good. And you’re even more stunning without all the makeup.” He gave her a once-over, allowing his eyes to roam before he stopped at her eyes and gave her another wink.
Rachel Blaufeld (Electrified (The Electric Tunnel, #1))
When I got to school the next morning I had stepped only one foot in the quad when he spotted me and nearly tackled me to the ground. “Jamie!” he hollered, rushing across the lawn without caring the least bit about the scene he was creating. The next thing I knew, my feet were off the ground and I was squished so tightly in Ryan’s arms that I could barely breathe. “Okay, Ryan?” I coughed in a hushed tone. “This is exactly the kind of thing that can get you killed.” “I don’t care, I’m not letting go. Don’t ever disappear like that again!” he scolded, but his voice was more relieved than angry. “It’s been days! You had your mother worried sick!” “My mother?” I questioned sarcastically. Ryan laughed as he finally set me back on my feet. “Okay, fine, me too.” He still wouldn’t let go of me, though. He was gripping my arms while he looked at me with those eyes, and that smile… You know, being all Ryan-ish. And then, when I got lost in the moment, he totally took advantage of how whipped I was and he kissed me. The jerk. He just pulled my face to his right then and there, in the middle of a crowded quad full of students, where I could have accidentally unleashed an electrical storm at any moment. And okay, maybe I liked it, and maybe I even needed it, but still! You can’t just go kissing Jamie Baker whenever you want, even if you are Ryan Miller! “Ryan!” I yelled as soon as I was able to pull away from him—which admittedly took a minute. “I’m sorry.” Ryan laughed with this big dopey grin on his face and then kissed me some more. I had to push him away from me. “Don’t be sorry, just stop!” I realized I was screaming at him when I felt a hundred different pairs of eyes on me. I tried to ignore the audience that Ryan seemed oblivious to and dropped the audio a few decibels. “I wasn’t kidding when I said this has to stop. Look, I will be your friend. I want to be your friend. But that’s it. We can’t be anything more. It’ll never work.” Ryan watched me for a minute and then whispered, “Don’t do that.” I was shocked to hear the sudden emotion in his voice. “Don’t give up.” It was hopeless. “Fine!” I snapped. “I’ll be your stupid girlfriend!” Big shocker, me giving Ryan his way, I know. But let’s face it—it’s just what I do best. I had to at least act a little tough, though. “But!” I said in the harshest voice I was capable of. “You can’t ever touch me unless I say. No more tackling me, and especially no more surprise kissing.” He actually laughed at my request. “No promises.” Stupid, cocky boyfriend. “You’re crazy. You know that, right?” Ryan got this big cheesy smile on his face and said, “Crazy about you.” “Ugh,” I groaned. “Would you be serious for a minute? Why do you insist on putting your life in danger?” “Because I like you.” His stupid grin was infectious. I wanted to be angry, but how could I with him looking at me like that? “I’m not worth it, you know,” I said stubbornly. “I have issues. I’m unstable.” “You’re cute when you’re unstable,” Ryan said, “and I like your issues.” The stupid boy was straight-up giddy now. But he was so cute that I cracked a smile despite myself. “You really are crazy,” I muttered.
Kelly Oram (Being Jamie Baker (Jamie Baker, #1))
After her initial fear had diminished, something else had begun to emerge from her. Something more strange. And, he thought, deplorable. A coldness. Like, he thought, a breath from the vacuum between inhabited worlds, in fact from nowhere: it was not what she did or said but what she did not do and say. “Some other time,” the girl said, and moved back toward her apartment door.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
Dads didn't care about lightning, because lightning was on the cover of all their favorite albums. Sometimes it was painted on their trucks as well. You could tell that if their kids were killed by lightning, they would be sad, but they would also feel superior about it for the rest of their lives, because it was without question the most hard-as way for a child to die. "My son Randy . . ." they would say, their voices trailing, "taken from us by pure electricity in the year Nineteen Hundred and Ninety . . .
Patricia Lockwood (Priestdaddy)
A woman from the audience asks: ‘Why were there so few women among the Beat writers?’ and [Gregory] Corso, suddenly utterly serious, leans forward and says: “There were women, they were there, I knew them, their families put them in institutions, they were given electric shock. In the ’50s if you were male you could be a rebel, but if you were female your families had you locked up.
Stephen Scobie
It’s like we've been flung back in time," he said. "Here we are in the Stone Age, knowing all these great things after centuries of progress but what can we do to make life easier for the Stone Agers? Can we make a refrigerator? Can we even explain how it works? What is electricity? What is light? We experience these things every day of our lives but what good does it do if we find ourselves hurled back in time and we can’t even tell people the basic principles much less actually make something that would improve conditions. Name one thing you could make. Could you make a simple wooden match that you could strike on a rock to make a flame? We think we’re so great and modern. Moon landings, artificial hearts. But what if you were hurled into a time warp and came face to face with the ancient Greeks. The Greeks invented trigonometry. They did autopsies and dissections. What could you tell an ancient Greek that he couldn’t say, ‘Big Deal.’ Could you tell him about the atom? Atom is a Greek word. The Greeks knew that the major events in the universe can’t be seen by the eye of man. It’s waves, it’s rays, it’s particles." “We’re doing all right.” “We’re sitting in this huge moldy room. It’s like we’re flung back.” “We have heat, we have light.” “These are Stone Age things. They had heat and light. They had fire. They rubbed flints together and made sparks. Could you rub flints together? Would you know a flint if you saw one? If a Stone Ager asked you what a nucleotide is, could you tell him? How do we make carbon paper? What is glass? If you came awake tomorrow in the Middle Ages and there was an epidemic raging, what could you do to stop it, knowing what you know about the progress of medicines and diseases? Here it is practically the twenty-first century and you’ve read hundreds of books and magazines and seen a hundred TV shows about science and medicine. Could you tell those people one little crucial thing that might save a million and a half lives?” “‘Boil your water,’ I’d tell them.” “Sure. What about ‘Wash behind your ears.’ That’s about as good.” “I still think we’re doing fairly well. There was no warning. We have food, we have radios.” “What is a radio? What is the principle of a radio? Go ahead, explain. You’re sitting in the middle of this circle of people. They use pebble tools. They eat grubs. Explain a radio.” “There’s no mystery. Powerful transmitters send signals. They travel through the air, to be picked up by receivers.” “They travel through the air. What, like birds? Why not tell them magic? They travel through the air in magic waves. What is a nucleotide? You don’t know, do you? Yet these are the building blocks of life. What good is knowledge if it just floats in the air? It goes from computer to computer. It changes and grows every second of every day. But nobody actually knows anything.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
Later on we read what Krishna says, “Even those who worship other deities are really worshipping me” (note 31). It is God incarnate whom man is worshipping. Would God be angry if you called Him by the wrong name? He would be no God at all! Can’t you understand that whatever a man has in his own heart is God — even if he worships a stone? What of that! We will understand more clearly if we once get rid of the idea that religion consists in doctrines. One idea of religion has been that the whole world was born because Adam ate the apple, and there is no way of escape. Believe in Jesus Christ — in a certain man’s death! But in India there is quite a different idea. [There] religion means realisation, nothing else. It does not matter whether one approaches the destination in a carriage with four horses, in an electric car, or rolling on the ground. The goal is the same. For the [Christians] the problem is how to escape the wrath of the terrible God. For the Indians it is how to become what they really are, to regain their lost Selfhood. ...
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
Ms. Lane.”Barrons’ voice is deep, touched with that strange Old World accent and mildly pissed off. Jericho Barrons is often mildly pissed off. I think he crawled from the swamp that way, chafed either by some condition in it, out of it, or maybe just the general mass incompetence he encountered in both places. He’s the most controlled, capable man I’ve ever known. After all we’ve been through together, he still calls me Ms. Lane, with one exception: When I’m in his bed. Or on the floor, or some other place where I’ve temporarily lost my mind and become convinced I can’t breathe without him inside me this very instant. Then the things he calls me are varied and nobody’s business but mine. I reply: “Barrons,” without inflection. I’ve learned a few things in our time together. Distance is frequently the only intimacy he’ll tolerate. Suits me. I’ve got my own demons. Besides I don’t believe good relationships come from living inside each other’s pockets. I believe divorce comes from that. I admire the animal grace with which he enters the room and moves toward me. He prefers dark colors, the better to slide in and out of the night, or a room, unnoticed except for whatever he’s left behind that you may or may not discover for some time, like, say a tattoo on the back of one’s skull. “What are you doing?” “Reading,” I say nonchalantly, rubbing the tattoo on the back of my skull. I angle the volume so he can’t see the cover. If he sees what I’m reading, he’ll know I’m looking for something. If he realizes how bad it’s gotten, and what I’m thinking about doing, he’ll try to stop me. He circles behind me, looks over my shoulder at the thick vellum of the ancient manuscript. “In the first tongue?” “Is that what it is?” I feign innocence. He knows precisely which cells in my body are innocent and which are thoroughly corrupted. He’s responsible for most of the corrupted ones. One corner of his mouth ticks up and I see the glint of beast behind his eyes, a feral crimson backlight, bloodstaining the whites. It turns me on. Barrons makes me feel violently, electrically sexual and alive. I’d march into hell beside him. But I will not let him march into hell beside me. And there’s no doubt that’s where I’m going. I thought I was strong, a heroine. I thought I was the victor. The enemy got inside my head and tried to seduce me with lies. It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing. Temptation isn’t a sin that you triumph over once, completely and then you’re free. Temptation slips into bed with you each night and helps you say your prayers. It wakes you in the morning with a friendly cup of coffee, and knows exactly how you take it. He skirts the Chesterfield sofa and stands over me. “Looking for something, Ms. Lane?” I’m eye level with his belt but that’s not where my gaze gets stuck and suddenly my mouth is so dry I can hardly swallow and I know I’m going to want to. I’m Pri-ya for this man. I hate it. I love it. I can’t escape it. I reach for his belt buckle. The manuscript slides from my lap, forgotten. Along with everything else but this moment, this man. “I just found it,” I tell him.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
What is toast?” says Snowman to himself, once they’ve run off. Toast is when you take a piece of bread – What is bread? Bread is when you take some flour – What is flour? We’ll skip that part, it’s too complicated. Bread is something you can eat, made from a ground-up plant and shaped like a stone. You cook it . . . Please, why do you cook it? Why don’t you just eat the plant? Never mind that part – Pay attention. You cook it, and then you cut it into slices, and you put a slice into a toaster, which is a metal box that heats up with electricity – What is electricity? Don’t worry about that. While the slice is in the toaster, you get out the butter – butter is a yellow grease, made from the mammary glands of – skip the butter. So, the toaster turns the slice of bread black on both sides with smoke coming out, and then this “toaster” shoots the slice up into the air, and it falls onto the floor . . . Forget it,” says Snowman. “Let’s try again.” Toast was a pointless invention from the Dark Ages. Toast was an implement of torture that caused all those subjected to it to regurgitate in verbal form the sins and crimes of their past lives. Toast was a ritual item devoured by fetishists in the belief that it would enhance their kinetic and sexual powers. Toast cannot be explained by any rational means. Toast is me. I am toast.
Margaret Atwood
By the way, Reb, about the singing. What gives? Walt Whitman sang the body electric. Billie Holiday sang the blues. You sang…everything. You could sing the phone book. I would call and say how are you feeling, and you’d answer, “The old gray rabbi, ain’t what he used to be…
Mitch Albom (Have a Little Faith: A True Story)
The old Elsa would’ve watched me with a wild gaze. She would’ve had a battle in those electric blue eyes about whether to fight or to save her energy. Not this Elsa. She doesn’t flinch. She just remains as immovable as a statue. A cold, frigid statue. This isn’t my Elsa. And if I have to break the statue to bring her out, then so be it. She stares up at me with dim eyes. “We’re enemies, aren’t we?” “Maybe.” “Then we’re over,” she says with more strength than needed. I push a stray blonde strand behind her ear, taking my time to feel the warmth of her skin against mine. “That’s where you’re wrong, sweetheart,” I murmur near her mouth, “Being enemies doesn’t change the fact that you’re fucking mine.
Rina Kent (Steel Princess (Royal Elite, #2))
Electrical shivers shoot up my leg.  And my knee is such a slut! She likes it! She’s that friend you have. The one who you tell you’re on a diet and the next day she shows up with cupcakes and says, Aww, just one won’t hurt.  But when I look down at my knee, I realize that she’s not only a slut, she’s an enabler. She’s all, Look at your knee. How small it looks under his big hand. How safe it feels.  God, I hate my knee.
Jillian Dodd (The Keatyn Chronicles: Books 1-3 (The Keatyn Chronicles, #1-3))
More than once, I've seen you talk yourself into the wrong decision by thinking too much. But if you could manage to climb out of that labyrinth of a brain long enough to discover what you want... not what you decide you should want, but what your instinct tells you... you might find what your soul is calling for." "I don't have a soul. There's no such thing." Looking exasperated and amused, Winterborne asked, "Then what keeps your brain working and your heart beating?" "Electrical impulses. An Italian scientist by the name of Galvani proved it a hundred years ago, with a frog." Firmly, Winterborne said, "I can't speak for the frog, but you have a soul. And I'd say it's high time you paid attention to it.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
People think it’s harmless. They think it’s funny. That’s why they do it,” I say, trying to ignore the strange shiver where he touched my arm. Must be static electricity. “And sure. I guess it’s harmless until something bad happens. It’s harmless, and then there are security guards at your synagogue because someone called in a bomb threat. It’s harmless, and you’re terrified to get out of bed Saturday morning and go to services.
Rachel Lynn Solomon (Today Tonight Tomorrow)
No doubt it was ridiculous to be so sensitive. But there was something almost agonising about speaking and being misunderstood or found unintelligible, something that got right to the heart of all my fears about aloneness. No one will ever understand you. No one wants to hear what you say. Why can't you fit in, why do you have to stick out so much? It wasn't hard to see why someone in this position might come to mistrust language, doubting its ability to bridge the gap between bodies, traumatised by the revealed gulf, the potentially lethal abyss that lurks beneath each carefully proferred sentence. Dumbness in this context might be a way of evading hurt, dodging the pain of failed communication by refusing to participate in it at all. That's how I explained my growing silence, anyway; as an aversion akin to someone wishing to avoid a repeated electric shock.
Olivia Laing (The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone)
I am not, I regret to say, a discreet and fetching sleeper. Most people when they nod off look as if they could do with a blanket; I look as if I could do with medical attention. I sleep as if injected with a powerful experimental muscle relaxant. My legs fall open in a grotesque come-hither manner; my knuckles brush the floor. Whatever is inside—tongue, uvula, moist bubbles of intestinal air—decides to leak out. From time to time, like one of those nodding-duck toys, my head tips forward to empty a quart or so of viscous drool onto my lap, then falls back to begin loading again with a noise like a toilet cistern filling. And I snore, hugely and helplessly, like a cartoon character, with rubbery flapping lips and prolonged steam-valve exhalations. For long periods I grow unnaturally still, in a way that inclines onlookers to exchange glances and lean forward in concern, then dramatically I stiffen and, after a tantalizing pause, begin to bounce and jostle in a series of whole-body spasms of the sort that bring to mind an electric chair when the switch is thrown. Then I shriek once or twice in a piercing and effeminate manner and wake up to find that all motion within five hundred feet has stopped and all children under eight are clutching their mothers’ hems. It is a terrible burden to bear.
Bill Bryson (In a Sunburned Country)
Note what the catalogue says about colour and height and time of flowering, choose the appropriate shade of crayon and mark position of plant on plan. You will soon see what would make good neighbours nd what would be fatal. Last year I dumped a lot of seeds haphazardly in a hurry and got mesembryanthemums and a new ‘electric orange’ calendula mingled with a scarlet eschscholtzia and even the thought of it makes me shudder yet. The conjunction of paralytic pink, blinding blood-orange and genuine clear scarlet was practically un-lookable at. I expected it to blow up at any moment, …
Ethelind Fearon
I often ask, "What do you want to work at? If you have the chance. When you get out of school, college, the service, etc." Some answer right off and tell their definite plans and projects, highly approved by Papa. I'm pleased for them* but it's a bit boring, because they are such squares. Quite a few will, with prompting, come out with astounding stereotyped, conceited fantasies, such as becoming a movie actor when they are "discovered" "like Marlon Brando, but in my own way." Very rarely somebody will, maybe defiantly and defensively, maybe diffidently but proudly, make you know that he knows very well what he is going to do; it is something great; and he is indeed already doing it, which is the real test. The usual answer, perhaps the normal answer, is "I don't know," meaning, "I'm looking; I haven't found the right thing; it's discouraging but not hopeless." But the terrible answer is, "Nothing." The young man doesn't want to do anything. I remember talking to half a dozen young fellows at Van Wagner's Beach outside of Hamilton, Ontario; and all of them had this one thing to say: "Nothing." They didn't believe that what to work at was the kind of thing one wanted. They rather expected that two or three of them would work for the electric company in town, but they couldn't care less, I turned away from the conversation abruptly because of the uncontrollable burning tears in my eyes and constriction in my chest. Not feeling sorry for them, but tears of frank dismay for the waste of our humanity (they were nice kids). And it is out of that incident that many years later I am writing this book.
Paul Goodman (Growing Up Absurd)
Sobriety was my painstaking resurrection. It was my return to wild. It was one long remembering. It was realizing that the hot electric thunder I felt buzzing and rolling inside was me—trying to get my attention, begging me to remember, insisting: I’m still in here. So I finally unlocked and unleashed her. I set free my beautiful, rowdy, true wild self. I was right about her power. It was too big for the life I was living, so I systematically dismantled every piece of it. Then I built a life of my own. I did it by resurrecting the very parts of myself I was trained to mistrust, hide, and abandon in order to keep others comfortable: My emotions My intuition My imagination My courage Those are the keys to freedom. Those are who we are. Will we be brave enough to unlock ourselves? Will we be brave enough to set ourselves free? Will we finally step out of our cages and say to ourselves, to our people, and to the world: Here I Am.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
it's going great. Two months in, and I've created three apps." "Apps?" "For people who buy my book as an e-book --which will be everybody. The first is called Don't Look. It's for the overly sensitive. It blurs and turns the type red when a dog dies or a baby is born with a birth defect. Stuff like that. My second is It's Not Okay When You Say It, and it delivers an electrical zap if the reader laughs at a racial slur. My third is Jesus Thesaurus, which replaces explicit sexual language with church words. So, when one of my characters 'saints' a guy's 'disciple', He'll beg her to 'cavalry' his 'Baptists' and 'shout amen'.
Helen Ellis (American Housewife)
I'm a quiet, peaceful sort of bloke who has lived all his life in London, and I can't stand the pace these swift sportsmen from the rural districts set. What I mean to say is, I'm all for rational enjoyment and so forth, but I think a chappie makes himself conspicuous when he throws soft-boiled eggs at the electric fan.
P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves (Jeeves, #3))
I stared out of the window at the bright-blue Swiss sky and I told him a story of two people. Two people who shouldn’t have met, and who didn’t like each other much when they did, but who found they were the only two people in the world who could possibly have understood each other. And I told him of the adventures they had, the places they had gone, and the things I had seen that I had never expected to. I conjured for him electric skies and iridescent seas and evenings full of laughter and silly jokes. I drew a world for him, a world far from a Swiss industrial estate, a world in which he was still somehow the person he had wanted to be. I drew the world he had created for me, full of wonder and possibility. I let him know a hurt had been mended in a way that he couldn’t have known, and for that alone there would always be a piece of me indebted to him. And as I spoke I knew these would be the most important words I would ever say and that it was important that they were the right words, that they were not propaganda, an attempt to change his mind, but respectful of what Will had said. I told him something good...
Jojo Moyes
When I change I change fast. The moon drags the whatever-it-is up from the earth and it goes through me with crazy wriggling impatience. I picture it as an electrical discharge, entering at my soles and racing upwards in haywire detonations that shock the bones and explode the neurons. The magic's dark red, violent, compressed. I get random flashes of mundane memory-- pushing a shopping cart around Met Foods; opening my apartment window; standing on a subway platform; saying to someone, No, that's carbohydrates in the evenings-- intercut with images of the kills; a white male body on an oil-stained warehouse floor; a solitary trailer with a storm lamp burning; a female thigh releasing a dark arc of blood; my clawed hand scooping out a still-hot heart. This is the Curse's neatest trick: one type of memory doesn't destroy the other. It's still you. It's still all you. You wouldn't think you were built to bear such opposites, but you are. You'd think the system would crash, but it doesn't.
Glen Duncan (Talulla Rising (The Last Werewolf, #2))
The white neighborhoods of Johannesburg were built on white fear—fear of black crime, fear of black uprisings and reprisals—and as a result virtually every house sits behind a six-foot wall, and on top of that wall is electric wire. Everyone lives in a plush, fancy maximum-security prison. There is no sitting on the front porch, no saying hi to the neighbors, no kids running back and forth between houses. I’d ride my bike around the neighborhood for hours without seeing a single kid. I’d hear them, though. They were all meeting up behind brick walls for playdates I wasn’t invited to. I’d hear people laughing and playing and I’d get off my bike and creep up and peek over the wall and see a bunch of white kids splashing around in someone’s swimming pool. I was like a Peeping Tom, but for friendship. It was only after a year or so that I figured out the key to making black friends in the suburbs: the children of domestics." (from "Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood" by Trevor Noah)
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
It would be incorrect in every sense to say that so near the end of his life he had lost his faith, when in fact God seemed more abundant to him in the Regina Cleri home than any place he had been before. God was in the folds of his bathrobe, the ache of his knees. God saturated the hallways in the form of a pale electrical light. But now that his heart had become so shiftless and unreliable, now that he should be sensing the afterlife like a sweet scent drifting in from the garden, he had started to wonder if there was in fact no afterlife at all. Look at all these true believers who wanted only to live, look at himself, cling onto this life like a squirrel scrambling up the icy pitch of a roof. In suggesting that there may be nothing ahead of them, he in no way meant to diminish the future; instead, Father Sullivan hoped to elevate the present to a state of the divine. It seemed from this moment of repose that God may well have been life itself. God may have been the baseball games, the beautiful cigarette he smoked alone after checking to see that all the bats had been put back behind the closet door. God could have been the masses in which he had told people how best to prepare for the glorious life everlasting, the one they couldn't see as opposed to the one they were living at that exact moment in the pews of the church hall, washed over in stained glass light. How wrongheaded it seemed now to think that the thrill of heartbeat and breath were just a stepping stone to something greater. What could be greater than the armchair, the window, the snow? Life itself had been holy. We had been brought forth from nothing to see the face of God and in his life Father Sullivan had seen it miraculously for eighty-eight years. Why wouldn't it stand to reason that this had been the whole of existence and now he would retreat back to the nothingness he had come from in order to let someone else have their turn at the view. This was not the workings of disbelief. It was instead a final, joyful realization of all he had been given. It would be possible to overlook just about anything if you were trained to constantly strain forward to see the power and the glory that was waiting up ahead. What a shame it would have been to miss God while waiting for him.
Ann Patchett (Run)
Your story is not a picture of life; it lacks the elements of truth. And why? Simply because you run straight on to the end; because you do not analyze. Your heroes do this thing or that from this or that motive, which you assign without ever a thought of dissecting their mental and moral natures. Our feelings, you must remember, are far more complex than all that. In real life every act is the resultant of a hundred thoughts that come and go, and these you must study, each by itself, if you would create a living character. 'But,' you will say, 'in order to note these fleeting thoughts one must know them, must be able to follow them in their capricious meanderings.You have simply to make use of hypnotism, electrical or human, which gives one a two-fold being, setting free the witness-personality so that it may see, understand, and remember the reasons which determine the personality that acts.
Jules Verne (In the Year 2889)
Resonance is a real 'here today' phenomena that just hasn't been looked at very carefully, and that is because of the (nonsense) that physicists have been putting out about 'energy' for decades. Electronic resonance has been used in radio tuners since their inception, while in the field of electric power resonance is avoided like the plague." "My system is not 'of the future' but here on this earth with all of the world's present problems." McKie said his real-world solid-state electronic system could be understood today, if physicists were not teaching that it cannot be achieved. "...When physicists decide to 'come clean' and say that they don't know it all, we'll all be a lot closer to the gleaming world that you are describing.
Jeane Manning (Breakthrough Power: How Quantum-Leap New Energy Inventions Can Transform Our World)
Zits,” I said. “Z-I-T-S. Actually, I don’t think you even need electric bolts. You could just breathe on us.” I looked him in the eyes and smiled. “Seriously, dude, when was the last time you brushed your teeth?” “Shut up!” “No, really. Did you eat a diaper?” “Shut up!” he shouted. He squinted. “Do you know how much I enjoyed guarding your mother? I shocked her at least a dozen times just to watch her squeal.” “Yeah, well you could have just sat next to her and let her smell you. That would have been much worse. I’ve had hamsters with better hygiene.” “Enough! Don’t think I won’t electrocute you, Vey!” Taylor looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. “It’s his Tourette’s, he can’t help it.” “I’m scared, Zits,” I said. “You know Hatch would have your head if you did. But here’s my promise: after I’m in charge, my first command is to make you my shoeshine boy. You’ll be following me around with a towel.” “You’ll never be in charge.” “No, that’s what Hatch said. You heard him. He wants my power. I’m not kidding, Zits. When Hatch was trying to get me to join you guys, he promised me that you would be my servant.” Zeus looked at me with a worried expression. After a moment he shouted, “Shut up! And stop calling me Zits!” “I don’t think I will. In fact, it’s going to be the first rule I make. I’m going to have everyone else call you that.” “I don’t care what Hatch says. I’m gonna fry you, Vey.” “Oooh, now I’m really shaking. You don’t have enough juice in you to light a flashlight.” “Michael!” Taylor shouted. “Stop it. He’s got a temper. I’ve seen it.” “You should listen to the cheerleader, Vey.” He stepped toward me. “You think you’re so cool. But you can’t shoot electricity like me, can you? You’re just a flesh-covered battery.” “And you’re a flesh-covered outhouse. You should tie a couple hundred of those car air fresheners around your neck.” “Last warning!” Zeus shouted. “I’m not kidding, Zits. There are porta-potties with better aromas. Would a little deodorant kill you? What was the last year you took a bath?
Richard Paul Evans (The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey, #1))
Daniel reaches out and grabs my hand to steady me. His skin is warm and soft, and holding his hand sends an electric sensation up my right arm. He holds my hand firmly until I regain my balance, which takes me a heartbeat longer than it should have. “Thanks for keeping me from falling,” I say. He smiles warmly. “Sometimes we just can’t stop ourselves from falling, cher.
Lisa Daily (Single-Minded)
Thank you," he said. "Welcome. Welcome especially to Mr. Coyle Mathis and the other men and women of Forster Hollow who are going to be employed at this rather strikingly energy-inefficient plant. It's a long way from Forster Hollow, isn't it?" "So, yes, welcome," he said. "Welcome to the middle class! That's what I want to say. Although, quickly, before I go any further, I also want to say to Mr. Mathis here in the front row: I know you don't like me. And I don't like you. But, you know, back when you were refusing to have anything to do with us, I respected that. I didn't like it, but I had respect for your position. For your independence. You see, because I actually came from a place a little bit like Forster Hollow myself, before I joined the middle class. And, now you're middle-class, too, and I want to welcome you all, because it's a wonderful thing, our American middle class. It's the mainstay of economies all around the globe!" "And now that you've got these jobs at this body-armor plant," he continued, "You're going to be able to participate in those economies. You, too, can help denude every last scrap of native habitat in Asia, Africa, and South America! You, too, can buy six-foot-wide plasma TV screens that consume unbelievable amounts of energy, even when they're not turned on! But that's OK, because that's why we threw you out of your homes in the first places, so we could strip-mine your ancestral hills and feed the coal-fired generators that are the number-one cause of global warming and other excellent things like acid rain. It's a perfect world, isn't it? It's a perfect system, because as long as you've got your six-foot-wide plasma TV, and the electricity to run it, you don't have to think about any of the ugly consequences. You can watch Survivor: Indonesia till there's no more Indonesia!" "Just quickly, here," he continued, "because I want to keep my remarks brief. Just a few more remarks about this perfect world. I want to mention those big new eight-miles-per-gallon vehicles you're going to be able to buy and drive as much as you want, now that you've joined me as a member of the middle class. The reason this country needs so much body armor is that certain people in certain parts of the world don't want us stealing all their oil to run your vehicles. And so the more you drive your vehicles, the more secure your jobs at this body-armor plant are going to be! Isn't that perfect?" "Just a couple more things!" Walter cried, wresting the mike from its holder and dancing away with it. "I want to welcome you all to working for one of the most corrupt and savage corporations in the world! Do you hear me? LBI doesn't give a shit about your sons and daughters bleeding in Iraq, as long as they get their thousand-percent profit! I know this for a fact! I have the facts to prove it! That's part of the perfect middle-class world you're joining! Now that you're working for LBI, you can finally make enough money to keep your kids from joining the Army and dying in LBI's broken-down trucks and shoddy body armor!" The mike had gone dead, and Walter skittered backwards, away from the mob that was forming. "And MEANWHILE," he shouted, "WE ARE ADDING THIRTEEN MILLION HUMAN BEINGS TO THE POPULATION EVERY MONTH! THIRTEEN MILLION MORE PEOPLE TO KILL EACH OTHER IN COMPETITION OVER FINITE RESOURCES! AND WIPE OUT EVERY OTHER LIVING THING ALONG THE WAY! IT IS A PERFECT FUCKING WORLD AS LONG AS YOU DON'T COUNT EVERY OTHER SPECIES IN IT! WE ARE A CANCER ON THE PLANT! A CANCER ON THE PLANET!
Jonathan Franzen (Freedom)
Hell, there're already too many psychologists; too many everythings. Too many engineers, too many chemists, too many doctors, too many dentists, too many sociologists. There aren't enough people who can actually do anything, really know how to make this world work. When you thing about it; when you look at the way it really is; God, we've got - well, let's say, there's 100 percent. Half of these are under eighteen or over sixty-five; that is not working. This leaves the middle fifty percent. Half of these are women; most are so busy having babies or taking care of kids, they're totally occupied. Some of them work, too, so let's say we're down to 30 percent. Ten percent are doctors or lawyers or sociologists or psychologists or dentists or businessmen or artists or writers, or schoolteachers, or priests, ministers, rabbis; none of there are actually producing anything, they're only servicing people. So now we're down to 20 percent. At least 2 or 3 percent are living on trusts or clipping coupons or are just rich. That leaves 17 percent. Seven percent of these are unemployed, mostly on purpose! So in the end we've got 10 percent producing all the food, constructing the houses, building and repairing all the roads, developing electricity, working in the mines, building cars, collecting garbage; all the dirty work, all the real work. Everybody's just looking for some gimmick so they don't have to actually do anything. And the worst part is, the ones who do the work get paid the least.
William Wharton
He is a type of our best — our rarest. Electrical, I was going to say, beyond anyone, perhaps, ever was: charged, surcharged. Not a founder of new philosophies — not of that build. But a towering magnetic presence, filling the air about with light, warmth, inspiration. A great intellect, penetrating, in ways (on his field) the best of our time — to be long kept, cherished, passed on... It should not be surprising that I am drawn to Ingersoll, for he is 'Leaves of Grass.' He lives, embodies, the individuality I preach. 'Leaves of Grass' utters individuality, the most extreme, uncompromising. I see in Bob the noblest specimen —American-flavored—pure out of the soil, spreading, giving, demanding light. {Whitman's thought on his good friend, the great Robert Ingersoll}
Walt Whitman
I can't deceive myself out of the bare stark realization that no matter how enthusiastic you are, no matter how sure that character is fate, nothing is real, past or future, when you are alone in your room with the clock ticking loudly into the false cheerful brilliance of the electric light. And if you have no past or future which, after all, is all that the present is made of, why then you may as well dispose of the empty shell of present and commit suicide. But the cold reasoning mass of gray entrail in my cranium which parrots "I think, therefore I am," whispers that there is always the turning, the upgrade, the new slant. And so I wait. What avail are good looks? To grab temporary security? What avail are brains? Merely to say "I have seen; I have comprehended?
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Thanks is part to our education system, we tend to think that we're smarter than the stupid guys in funny wigs who came before us. But that's because we are mistaking technology, progress, and access to information for intelligence. We think that because we know how to use iPhones (but not build them), browse the Internet (but not understand how it works), and use Google (but not really know anything), our educational system is working just great. By the same token, we think that those dumb aristocrats who used horses to get around and didn't have electricity were neanderthals.
Glenn Beck (Cowards: What Politicians, Radicals, and the Media Refuse to Say)
One of his hands move away from my face to flatten against my back, pulling me closer to him as he deepens the kiss. He parts my lips under his as my mind seems to sign quietly in content. I kiss him back as fiercely as he kisses me, unable to control the infatuation that rushes through me - feeling almost like fireworks. Not so careful anymore. Little shivers of urgency shoot through me. I push off the window, pressing closer to him. The rush of sensation that is coursing through me feels like I've drunk a gallon of coffee. It feels like an electric buzz is flooding between us.
Ashley Earley (Alone in Paris)
PHOENIX: As I was about to say… “Telekinesis” means “mind over matter.” U-Men: I’m not scared… I’ll match your natural powers with my electric blood transfusion. PHOENIX: No… No. I’m sorry, you won’t. All your minds… looking out through those little portholes… Naked insecurities crawling all over you like graffiti… So sad… You’ll be quiet and you’ll listen to someone else for just 5 minutes. Mind over matter? Think back to all that processed food you ate today to help calm your nerves. I’m thinking about it right now. I’m thinking of moving it up. U-Men: Aaautch! Bblaaauuurrr! PHOENIX: And moving it down. U-Men: Oh! Awwwww! PHOENIX: I don’t want you to get hurt but you have to understand… the more you annoy me the more I can’t help thinking about deconstructing you, molecule by molecule, memory by memory… until there’s nothing left but screaming, traumatized atoms. So don’t patronize me. Don’t threaten me. And don’t ever endanger any of my students again. Don’t even think about it. Or I’ll know.
Grant Morrison
The world of shadows and superstition that was Victorian England, so well depicted in this 1871 tale, was unique. While the foundations of so much of our present knowledge of subjects like medicine, public health, electricity, chemistry and agriculture, were being, if not laid, at least mapped out, people could still believe in the existence of devils and demons. And why not? A good ghost story is pure entertainment. It was not until well into the twentieth century that ghost stories began to have a deeper significance and to become allegorical; in fact, to lose their charm. No mental effort is required to read 'The Weird Woman', no seeking for hidden meanings; there are no complexities of plot, no allegory on the state of the world. And so it should be. At what other point in literary history could a man, standing over the body of his fiancee, say such a line as this: 'Speak, hound! Or, by heaven, this night shall witness two murders instead of one!' Those were the days. (introduction to "The Weird Woman")
Hugh Lamb (Terror by Gaslight: More Victorian Tales of Terror)
What an interesting and exciting thought. We may be only one of millions of advanced civilizations. Unfortunately, space being spacious, the average distance between any two of these civilizations is reckoned to be at least two hundred light-years, which is a great deal more than merely saying it makes it sound. It means for a start that even if these beings know we are here and are somehow able to see us in their telescopes, they’re watching light that left Earth two hundred years ago. So they’re not seeing you and me. They’re watching the French Revolution and Thomas Jefferson and people in silk stockings and powdered wigs—people who don’t know what an atom is, or a gene, and who make their electricity by rubbing a rod of amber with a piece of fur and think that’s quite a trick. Any message we receive from them is likely to begin “Dear Sire,” and congratulate us on the handsomeness of our horses and our mastery of whale oil. Two hundred light-years is a distance so far beyond us as to be, well, just beyond us.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
The missing remained missing and the portraits couldn't change that. But when Akhmed slid the finished portrait across the desk and the family saw the shape of that beloved nose, the air would flee the room, replaced by the miracle of recognition as mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, and cousin found in that nose the son, brother, nephew, and cousin that had been, would have been, could have been, and they might race after the possibility like cartoon characters dashing off a cliff, held by the certainty of the road until they looked down -- and plummeted is the word used by the youngest brother who, at the age of sixteen, is tired of being the youngest and hopes his older brother will return for many reasons, not least so he will marry and have a child and the youngest brother will no longer be youngest; that youngest brother, the one who has nothing to say about the nose because he remembers his older brother's nose and doesn't need the nose to mean what his parents need it to mean, is the one who six months later would be disappeared in the back of a truck, as his older brother was, who would know the Landfill through his blindfold and gag by the rich scent of clay, as his older brother had known, whose fingers would be wound with the electrical wires that had welded to his older brother's bones, who would stand above a mass grave his brother had dug and would fall in it as his older brother had, though taking six more minutes and four more bullets to die, would be buried an arm's length of dirt above his brother and whose bones would find over time those of his older brother, and so, at that indeterminate point in the future, answer his mother's prayer that her boys find each other, wherever they go; that younger brother would have a smile on his face and the silliest thought in his skull a minute before the first bullet would break it, thinking of how that day six months earlier, when they all went to have his older brother's portrait made, he should have had his made, too, because now his parents would have to make another trip, and he hoped they would, hoped they would because even if he knew his older brother's nose, he hadn't been prepared to see it, and seeing that nose, there, on the page, the density of loss it engendered, the unbelievable ache of loving and not having surrounded him, strong enough to toss him, as his brother had, into the summer lake, but there was nothing but air, and he'd believed that plummet was as close as they would ever come again, and with the first gunshot one brother fell within arms' reach of the other, and with the fifth shot the blindfold dissolved and the light it blocked became forever, and on the kitchen wall of his parents' house his portrait hangs within arm's reach of his older brother's, and his mother spends whole afternoons staring at them, praying that they find each other, wherever they go.
Anthony Marra (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena)
'how then does soul differ from spirit?' you're probably asking yourself. although he must have been reasonably sure nobody was. "Well, soul is darker of color, denser of volume, saltier of flavor, rougher of texture, and tends to be more maternalistic than paternalistic: soul is connected to Mother Earth just as spirit is connected to Father Sky. Of course, mothers and fathers are prone to copulation, and in their commingled state, soul and spirit often can be difficult to distinguish the one from the other. Generally, if spirit is the fresh air cent and ambient lighting in the house of consciousness, if the spirit is the electrical system that illuminates that house, then soul is the smoky fireplace, the fragrant oven, the dusty wine cellar, the strange creeks we hear in the floorboards late at night. "It's a bit of a cliche to say it, but when you think of soul, you should think of things that are authentic and things that are deep. Anything superficial is not soulful. Anything artificial, imitative, or overly refined is not soulful. Wood has a stronger connection to soul than does plastic, although, paradoxically, thanks to human interface, a funky wooden table or chair can sometimes exceed in soulfulness the soul that may be invoked by a living tree.
Tom Robbins (Villa Incognito)
Now against the specialist, against the man who studies only art or electricity, or the violin, or the thumbscrew or what not, there is only one really important argument, and that, for some reason or other, is never offered. People say that specialists are inhuman; but that is unjust. People say an expert is not a man; but that is unkind and untrue. The real difficulty about the specialist or expert is much more singular and fascinating. The trouble with the expert is never that he is not a man; it is always that wherever he is not an expert he is too much of an ordinary man. Wherever he is not exceptionally learned he is quite casually ignorant. This is the great fallacy in the case of what is called the impartiality of men of science. If scientific men had no idea beyond their scientific work it might be all very well — that is to say, all very well for everybody except them. But the truth is that, beyond their scientific ideas, they have not the absence of ideas but the presence of the most vulgar and sentimental ideas that happen to be common to their social clique. If a biologist had no views on art and morals it might be all very well. The truth is that the biologist has all the wrong views of art and morals that happen to be going about in the smart set of his time.
G.K. Chesterton
We created a coterie of lunatics. All supporting one another. It felt good and meaningful. But you see, having such friends is both a blessing and a curse. While it is good as a support system, we are prone to inductive effects. Ever seen people yawning one after another? We automatically mimic what the other person is doing. It’s like the transference of an electric charge. No wonder why people say, ‘stay away from negative people.
Abhaidev (The World's Most Frustrated Man)
Mom used to say that the thoughts in our heads were nothing more than electrical impulses. I remember Dad and her talking about this over dinner. It frustrated Dad that the human brain can fire electrical sparks and think, but that the electricity he’d pump into an android brain would never give it independent thought. The body isn’t that different from a machine. Humans and androids both run on electricity. That lightning spark of energy I saw in the reverie. That was my mother’s last thought, an echo of electricity, something that sparked when I entered her dreamscape. That spark is gone now. Her life is gone now. Everything that made her, her, is gone now. Faded into nothing.
Beth Revis (The Body Electric)
How much time, after this realization sank in and spread among consumers (mostly via phone, interestingly), would any micro-econometrist expect to need to pass before high-tech visual videophony was mostly abandoned, then, a return to good old telephoning not only dictated by common consumer sense but actually after a while culturally approved as a kind of chic integrity, not Ludditism but a kind of retrograde transcendence of sci-fi-ish high-tech for its own sake, a transcendence of the vanity and the slavery to high-tech fashion that people view as so unattractive in one another. In other words a return to aural-only telephony became, at the closed curve’s end, a kind of status-symbol of anti-vanity, such that only callers utterly lacking in self-awareness continued to use videophony and Tableaux, to say nothing of masks, and these tacky facsimile-using people became ironic cultural symbols of tacky vain slavery to corporate PR and high-tech novelty, became the Subsidized Era’s tacky equivalents of people with leisure suits, black velvet paintings, sweater-vests for their poodles, electric zirconium jewelry, NoCoat Lin-guaScrapers, and c.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Hubert complains that the electric wastebasket has been overheating. I haven't noticed it but that's what Hubert says and Hubert is rarely wrong about things that don't matter. The electric wastebasket is a security item. Papers dropped into it are destroyed instantly. How the electric wastebasket accomplishes this is not known. An intimidation followed by a demoralization eventuating in a disintegration, one assumes. It is not emptied. There are not even ashes.
Donald Barthelme
It's interesting to speculate on the reasons that make men so anxious to debase themselves. As in that idea of feeling small before nature. It's not a bromide, it's practically an institution. Have you noticed how self-righteous a man sounds when he tells you about it? Look, he seems to say, I'm so glad to be a pygmy, that's how virtuous I am. Have you heard with what delight people quote some great celebrity who's proclaimed that he's not so great when he looks at Niagara Falls? It's as if they were smacking their lips in sheer glee that their best is dust before the brute force of an earthquake. As if they were sprawling on all fours, rubbing their foreheads in the mud to the majesty of a hurricane. But that's not the spirit that leashed fire, steam, electricity, that crossed oceans in sailing sloops, that built airplanes and dams...and skyscrapers. What is it they fear? What is they hate so much, those who love to crawl? And why?
Ayn Rand
Telepathy’ literally means to feel at a distance, just as ‘telephone’ is to hear at a distance and ‘television’ is to see at a distance. The word suggests the communication not of thoughts but of feelings, emotions. Around a quarter of all Americans believe they’ve experienced something like telepathy. People who know each other very well, who live together, who are practised in one another’s feeling tones, associations and thinking styles can often anticipate what the partner will say. This is merely the usual five senses plus human empathy, sensitivity and intelligence in operation. It may feel extrasensory, but it’s not at all what’s intended by the word ‘telepathy’. If something like this were ever conclusively demonstrated, it would, I think, have discernible physical causes -perhaps electrical currents in the brain. Pseudoscience, rightly or wrongly labelled, is by no means the same thing as the supernatural, which is by definition something somehow outside of Nature.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
And I like the light-up.” “The what?” “The light-up,” he’d say. “You know, that look people get when they finally realize you’re for real. It’s like electricity. It makes me tingle all over. Like a blanket full of static.” Ew. “Really? I’ve never heard that.” “Yeah, and I like it when people realize we’re out here.” I leaned in close once and asked him, “Do you want your mom to realize you’re out here? Do you want her to know?” “Nah. It took her too long to get over me.” All in all, he was a good kid.
Darynda Jones (First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1))
What do you know about me, Isabeau?" He leaned forward, and I forced myself to stay still instead of shying away. He was so close that I could smell the subtle notes of his cologne: musk and wood with a hint of leather. What did he want me to say? That everyone said he was an ogre? Or that they all wanted to sleep with him anyway? "I..." "Go on. You won't hurt my feelings." He was still smiling, slight dimples visible in both cheeks. The sight was destracting, to say the least. "I know that you're the youngest CEO and partner in the company's history, and I know that you earned the spot by working your way up after graduate school instead of using your inheritance as a crutch." "Everyone knows that. What do you know about me? The real stuff. None of this press release bullshit." I looked down at my hands, anything not to have to look up at his face so close to me. "Um. People say... they say that you're scary. And that your assistants don't last long." He laughed, a deep, warm sound that seemed to fill up the office. I glanced up to see him smirking at me. I relaxed my grip on the desk a little. Maybe I wasn't being fired after all. "What else do they say?" Oh, God. He can't possibly want me to tell him everything. Does he? The look on his face confirmed that he did. It was clear by the way he looked at me that I wasn't leaving this office until I gave him exactly what he wanted. "They say. Um... They say that you're very, uh, good looking... and impossible to please." "Oh they do, do they?" He sat back, and tented his fingers beneath his chin. "Well, do you agree with them? Do you think I'm scary, handsome and woefully unsatisfied?" My mouth dropped open, and I quickly closed it with a snap. "Yes. I mean, no! I mean, I don't know..." He stood, then, and leaned in close, towering over me. "You were right the first time." Anxiety coursed through me, but I have to admit, being this close to him, smelling his scent and feeling the heat radiating off his body, it made me wonder what it would be like to be in his arms. To be his. To be owned by him... His face was almost touching mine when he whispered to me. "I am unsatisfied, Isabeau. I want you to be my new assistant. Will you do that for me? Will you be at my beck and call?" My breath left me as his words sunk in. When I finally regained it, I felt like I was trembling from head to toe. His beck and call. "Wh-what about your old assistant?" Mr. Drake leaned back again and took my chin in his hand, forcing my eyes to his. "What about her? I want you." His touch on my skin was electric. Are we still talking about business? "Yes, Mr. Drake." His thumb stroked my cheek for the briefest of moments, and then he released me, breathless, and wondering what I'd just agreed to.
Delilah Fawkes (At His Service (The Billionaire's Beck and Call, #1))
Doctors, I find, have a very materialistic outlook. The spiritual seems to be strangely hidden from them. They pin their faith on Science - but what I say is... what is Science - what can it do?" There seemed, to Hercule Poirot, to be no answer to the question other than a meticulous and painstaking description embracing Pasteur, Lister, Humphrey Davy's safety lamp - the convenience of electricity in the home and several hundred other kindred items. But that, naturally, was not the answer Mrs Lionel Cloade wanted.
Agatha Christie (Taken at the Flood (Hercule Poirot, #24))
I’ve made her relive, over and over, the last few days,” I say softly, watching Ms. White’s body. “I’ve had to fill in the blanks with my own feelings and experiences. She’s spiraling around those last moments, those times when she went against me, and she’s feeling it from my side, the pain, the betrayal.” She thinks she’s awake. I’m doing to her just what she did to me. I’m making her feel what it was like to slowly go crazy, to question everything. To watch my mother die. To fight for my life against my best friend. To feel the man who loved me try to kill me. To know that the woman I trusted as much as my own mother betrayed me. That’s what I’m making her feel. I’ve turned her into me, and made her live the life she forced me to live. Over and over and over again.
Beth Revis (The Body Electric)
New Rule: Republicans must stop pitting the American people against the government. Last week, we heard a speech from Republican leader Bobby Jindal--and he began it with the story that every immigrant tells about going to an American grocery store for the first time and being overwhelmed with the "endless variety on the shelves." And this was just a 7-Eleven--wait till he sees a Safeway. The thing is, that "endless variety"exists only because Americans pay taxes to a government, which maintains roads, irrigates fields, oversees the electrical grid, and everything else that enables the modern American supermarket to carry forty-seven varieties of frozen breakfast pastry.Of course, it's easy to tear government down--Ronald Reagan used to say the nine most terrifying words in the Englishlanguage were "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." But that was before "I'm Sarah Palin, now show me the launch codes."The stimulus package was attacked as typical "tax and spend"--like repairing bridges is left-wing stuff. "There the liberals go again, always wanting to get across the river." Folks, the people are the government--the first responders who put out fires--that's your government. The ranger who shoos pedophiles out of the park restroom, the postman who delivers your porn.How stupid is it when people say, "That's all we need: the federal government telling Detroit how to make cars or Wells Fargo how to run a bank. You want them to look like the post office?"You mean the place that takes a note that's in my hand in L.A. on Monday and gives it to my sister in New Jersey on Wednesday, for 44 cents? Let me be the first to say, I would be thrilled if America's health-care system was anywhere near as functional as the post office.Truth is, recent years have made me much more wary of government stepping aside and letting unregulated private enterprise run things it plainly is too greedy to trust with. Like Wall Street. Like rebuilding Iraq.Like the way Republicans always frame the health-care debate by saying, "Health-care decisions should be made by doctors and patients, not government bureaucrats," leaving out the fact that health-care decisions aren't made by doctors, patients, or bureaucrats; they're made by insurance companies. Which are a lot like hospital gowns--chances are your gas isn't covered.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Lena Ella Haloway Tiddle." I pronounce her full name, very slowly, partly because I need to reassure myself of her existence—Lena, my friend, the worried one, the one who always pleaded for safety first, who now makes secret appointments to meet with boys. "You have some explaining to do." "Hana, you remember Alex," Lena says weakly, as though that—the fact of my remembering him—explains anything. "Oh, I remember Alex," I say. "What I don't remember is why Alex is here. " Lena makes a few unconvincing noises of excuse. Her eyes fly to his. A message passes between them. I can feel it, encoded and indecipherable, like a zip of electricity, as though I've just passed too close to one of the border fences. My stomach turns. Lena and I used to be able to speak like that.
Lauren Oliver (Hana (Delirium, #1.5))
But as soon as I walked through the door, my happy feelings evaporated so quickly, I practically heard the pop. “Oh, man,” I said softly. “Why do I keep being surprised when everything turns out gross and depressing?” Jenna was sitting in the middle of her bed. “I thought the window was the worst,” she said quietly. “Or, you know. Evan getting eaten. But now I really feel like crying.” Our room had never been what anyone would call luxurious, but thanks to Jenna’s obsessive love for pink, it had been…okay, I was going to say “comfortable” but “bright” and “maybe a little insane” were probably better descriptions. Still, it had been ours, and I’d never really realized how much Jenna’s lights, scarves, and Electric Raspberry comforter had made that tiny dorm room feel like home.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
I say is someone in there?’ The voice is the young post-New formalist from Pittsburgh who affects Continental and wears an ascot that won’t stay tight, with that hesitant knocking of when you know perfectly well someone’s in there, the bathroom door composed of thirty-six that’s three times a lengthwise twelve recessed two-bevelled squares in a warped rectangle of steam-softened wood, not quite white, the bottom outside corner right here raw wood and mangled from hitting the cabinets’ bottom drawer’s wicked metal knob, through the door and offset ‘Red’ and glowering actors and calendar and very crowded scene and pubic spirals of pale blue smoke from the elephant-colored rubble of ash and little blackened chunks in the foil funnel’s cone, the smoke’s baby-blanket blue that’s sent her sliding down along the wall past knotted washcloth, towel rack, blood-flower wallpaper and intricately grimed electrical outlet, the light sharp bitter tint of a heated sky’s blue that’s left her uprightly fetal with chin on knees in yet another North American bathroom, deveiled, too pretty for words, maybe the Prettiest Girl Of All Time (Prettiest G.O.A.T.), knees to chest, slew-footed by the radiant chill of the claw-footed tub’s porcelain, Molly’s had somebody lacquer the tub in blue, lacquer, she’s holding the bottle, recalling vividly its slogan for the past generation was The Choice of a Nude Generation, when she was of back-pocket height and prettier by far than any of the peach-colored titans they’d gazed up at, his hand in her lap her hand in the box and rooting down past candy for the Prize, more fun way too much fun inside her veil on the counter above her, the stuff in the funnel exhausted though it’s still smoking thinly, its graph reaching its highest spiked prick, peak, the arrow’s best descent, so good she can’t stand it and reaches out for the cold tub’s rim’s cold edge to pull herself up as the white- party-noise reaches, for her, the sort of stereophonic precipice of volume to teeter on just before the speaker’s blow, people barely twitching and conversations strettoing against a ghastly old pre-Carter thing saying ‘We’ve Only Just Begun,’ Joelle’s limbs have been removed to a distance where their acknowledgement of her commands seems like magic, both clogs simply gone, nowhere in sight, and socks oddly wet, pulls her face up to face the unclean medicine-cabinet mirror, twin roses of flame still hanging in the glass’s corner, hair of the flame she’s eaten now trailing like the legs of wasps through the air of the glass she uses to locate the de-faced veil and what’s inside it, loading up the cone again, the ashes from the last load make the world's best filter: this is a fact. Breathes in and out like a savvy diver… –and is knelt vomiting over the lip of the cool blue tub, gouges on the tub’s lip revealing sandy white gritty stuff below the lacquer and porcelain, vomiting muddy juice and blue smoke and dots of mercuric red into the claw-footed trough, and can hear again and seems to see, against the fire of her closed lids’ blood, bladed vessels aloft in the night to monitor flow, searchlit helicopters, fat fingers of blue light from one sky, searching.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
An I-it relationship is basically what we create when we are in transactions with people whom we treat like objects - people who are simply there to serve us or complete a task. I-you relationships are characterized by human connection and empathy. Buber wrote, "When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them." After spending a decade studying belonging, authenticity, and shame, I can say for certain that we are hardwired for connection - emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
It was getting late, but sleep was the furthest thing from my racing mind. Apparently that was not the case for Mr. Sugar Buns. He lay back, closed his eyes, and threw an arm over his forehead, his favorite sleeping position. I could hardly have that. So, I crawled on top of him and started chest compressions. It seemed like the right thing to do. "What are you doing?" he asked without removing his arm. "Giving you CPR." I pressed into his chest, trying not to lose count. Wearing a red-and-black football jersey and boxers that read, DRIVERS WANTED. SEE INSIDE FOR DETAILS, I'd straddled him and now worked furiously to save his life, my focus like that of a seasoned trauma nurse. Or a seasoned pot roast. It was hard to say. "I'm not sure I'm in the market," he said, his voice smooth and filled with a humor I found appalling. He clearly didn't appreciate my dedication. "Damn it, man! I'm trying to save your life! Don't interrupt." A sensuous grin slid across his face. He tucked his arms behind his head while I worked. I finished my count, leaned down, put my lips on his, and blew. He laughed softly, the sound rumbling from his chest, deep and sexy, as he took my breath into his lungs. That part down, I went back to counting chest compressions. "Don't you die on me!" And praying. After another round, he asked, "Am I going to make it?" "It's touch-and-go. I'm going to have to bring out the defibrillator." "We have a defibrillator?" he asked, quirking a brow, clearly impressed. I reached for my phone. "I have an app. Hold on." As I punched buttons, I realized a major flaw in my plan. I needed a second phone. I could hardly shock him with only one paddle. I reached over and grabbed his phone as well. Started punching buttons. Rolled my eyes. "You don't have the app," I said from between clenched teeth. "I had no idea smartphones were so versatile." "I'll just have to download it. It'll just take a sec." "Do I have that long?" Humor sparkled in his eyes as he waited for me to find the app. I'd forgotten the name of it, so I had to go back to my phone, then back to his, then do a search, then download, then install it, all while my patient lay dying. Did no one understand that seconds counted? "Got it!" I said at last. I pressed one phone to his chest and one to the side of his rib cage like they did in the movies, and yelled, "Clear!" Granted, I didn't get off him or anything as the electrical charge riddled his body, slammed his heart into action, and probably scorched his skin. Or that was my hope, anyway. He handled it well. One corner of his mouth twitched, but that was about it. He was such a trouper. After two more jolts of electricity--it had to be done--I leaned forward and pressed my fingertips to his throat. "Well?" he asked after a tense moment. I released a ragged sigh of relief,and my shoulders fell forward in exhaustion. "You're going to be okay, Mr. Farrow." Without warning, my patient pulled me into his arms and rolled me over, pinning me to the bed with his considerable weight and burying his face in my hair. It was a miracle!
Darynda Jones (The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10))
in private, a person says all sorts of things, slurs friends, uses coarse language, acts silly, tells dirty jokes, repeats himself, makes a companion laugh by shocking him with outrageous talk, floats heretical ideas he'd never admit in public, and so forth. Of course, we all act like Prochazka, in private we bad-mouth our friends and use coarse language; that we act different in private than in public is everyone's most conspicuous experience, it is the very ground of the life of the individual; curiously, this obvious fact remains unconscious, unacknowledged, forever obscured by lyrical dreams of the transparent glass house, it is rarely understood to be the value one must defend beyond all others. Thus only gradually did people realize (though their rage was all the greater) that the real scandal was not Prochazka's daring talk but the rape of his life; they realized (as if by electric shock) that private and public are two essentially different worlds and that respect for that difference is the indispensable condition, the sine qua non, for a man to live free; that the curtain separating these two worlds is not to be tampered with, and that curtain-rippers are criminals.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
When criminals are hanged, priests always officiate, annoying the malefactors by their presence. In Prussia a pastor conducts the poor wretch to the block ; in Austria a Catholic priest escorts him to the gallows ; in France to the guillotine ; in America a clergyman accompanies him to the electric chair ; in Spain to the ingenious appliance by which he is strangled, etc. Everywhere they have to carry a crucifix about on these occasions, as if to say: "You're only having your head chopped off, you're only being hanged, you're only being strangled, you're only having 15,000 volts shoved into you, but don't forget what He had to go through.
Jaroslav Hašek (The Good Soldier Schweik)
Laden with all these new possessions, I go and sit at a table. And don't ask me what the table was like because this was some time ago and I can't remember. It was probably round." [...] "So let me give you the layout. Me sitting at the table, on my left, the newspaper, on my right, the cup of coffee, in the middle of the table, the packet of biscuits." "I see it perfectly." "What you don't see," said Arthur, "because I haven't mentioned him yet, is the guy sitting at the table already. He is sitting there opposite me." "What's he like?" "Perfectly ordinary. Briefcase. Business suit. He didn't look," said Arthur, "as if he was about to do anything weird." "Ah. I know the type. What did he do?" "He did this. He leaned across the table, picked up the packet of biscuits, tore it open, took one out, and . . ." "What?" "Ate it." "What?" "He ate it." Fenchurch looked at him in astonishment. "What on earth did you do?" "Well, in the circumstances I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do. I was compelled," said Arthur, "to ignore it." "What? Why?" "Well, it's not the sort of thing you're trained for, is it? I searched my soul, and discovered that there was nothing anywhere in my upbringing, experience, or even primal instincts to tell me how to react to someone who has quite simply, calmly, sitting right there in front of me, stolen one of my biscuits." "Well, you could. . ." Fenchurch thought about it. "I must say I'm not sure what I would have done either. So what happened?" "I stared furiously at the crossword," said Arthur, "couldn't do a single clue, took a sip of coffee, it was too hot to drink, so there was nothing for it. I braced myself. I took a biscuit, trying very hard not to notice," he added, "that the packet was already mysteriously open. . ." "But you're fighting back, taking a tough line." "After my fashion, yes. I ate the biscuit. I ate it very deliberately and visibly, so that he would have no doubt as to what it was I was doing. When I eat a biscuit," said Arthur, "it stays eaten." "So what did he do?" "Took another one. Honestly," insisted Arthur, "this is exactly what happened. He took another biscuit, he ate it. Clear as daylight. Certain as we are sitting on the ground." Fenchurch stirred uncomfortably. "And the problem was," said Arthur, "that having not said anything the first time, it was somehow even more difficult to broach the subject the second time around. What do you say? 'Excuse me... I couldn't help noticing, er . . .' Doesn't work. No, I ignored it with, if anything, even more vigor than previously." "My man..." "Stared at the crossword again, still couldn't budge a bit of it, so showing some of the spirit that Henry V did on St. Crispin's Day . ." "What?" "I went into the breach again. I took," said Arthur, "another biscuit. And for an instant our eyes met." "Like this?" "Yes, well, no, not quite like that. But they met. Just for an instant. And we both looked away. But I am here to tell you," said Arthur, "that there was a little electricity in the air. There was a little tension building up over the table. At about this time." "I can imagine."” "We went through the whole packet like this. Him, me, him, me . . ." "The whole packet?" "Well, it was only eight biscuits, but it seemed like a lifetime of biscuits we were getting through at this point. Gladiators could hardly have had a tougher time." "Gladiators," said Fenchurch, "would have had to do it in the sun. More physically gruelling." "There is that. So. When the empty packet was lying dead between us the man at last got up, having done his worst, and left. I heaved a sigh of relief, of course. "As it happened, my train was announced a moment or two later, so I finished my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper . . ." "Yes?" "Were my biscuits." "What?" said Fenchurch. "What?" "True." "No!
Douglas Adams (So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4))
He tells me how the Great Lakes came to be. All where Lake Huron is now, he says, used to be flat land, a wide flat plain. Then came the ice, creeping down from the north, pushing deep into the low places. Like that—and he shows me his hand with his spread fingers pressing the rock-hard ground where we are sitting. His fingers make hardly any impression at all and he says, “Well, the old ice cap had a lot more power behind it than this hand has.” And then the ice went back, shrank back towards the North Pole where it came from, and left its fingers of ice in the deep places it had gouged, and ice turned to lakes and there they were today. They were new, as time went. I try to see that plain before me, dinosaurs walking on it, but I am not able even to imagine the shore of the Lake when the Indians were there, before Tuppertown. The tiny share we have of time appalls me, though my father seems to regard it with tranquillity. Even my father, who sometimes seems to me to have been at home in the world as long as it has lasted, has really lived on this earth only a little longer than I have, in terms of all the time there has been to live in. He has not known a time, any more than I, when automobiles and electric lights did not at least exist. He was not alive when this century started. I will be barely alive—old, old—when it ends. I do not like to think of it. I wish the Lake to be always just a lake, with the safe-swimming floats marking it, and the breakwater and the lights of Tuppertown.
Alice Munro (Dance of the Happy Shades)
He paused, then, I behind him, arms locked around the powerful ribs, fingers caressing him. To lie with him, to lie with him, burning forgetful in the delicious animal fire. Locked first upright, thighs ground together, shuddering, mouth to mouth, breast to breast, legs enmeshed, then lying full length, with the good heavy weight of body upon body, arching, undulating, blind, growing together, force fighting force: to kill? To drive into burning dark of oblivion? To lose identity? Not love, this, quite. But something else rather. A refined hedonism. Hedonism: because of the blind sucking mouthing fingering quest for physical gratification. Refined: because of the desire to stimulate another in return, not being quite only concerned for self alone, but mostly so. An easy end to arguments on the mouth: a warm meeting of mouths, tongues quivering, licking, tasting. An easy substitute for bad slashing with angry hating teeth and nails and voice: the curious musical tempo of hands lifting under breasts, caressing throat, shoulders, knees, thighs. And giving up to the corrosive black whirlpool of mutual necessary destruction. - Once there is the first kiss, then the cycle becomes inevitable. Training, conditioning, make a hunger burn in breasts and secrete fluid in vagina, driving blindly for destruction. What is it but destruction? Some mystic desire to beat to sensual annihilation - to snuff out one’s identity on the identity of the other - a mingling and mangling of identities? A death of one? Or both? A devouring and subordination? No, no. A polarization rather - a balance of two integrities, changing, electrically, one with the other, yet with centers of coolness, like stars. And there it is: when asked what role I will plan to fill, I say “What do you mean role? I plan not to step into a part on marrying - but to go on living as an intelligent mature human being, growing and learning as I always have. No shift, no radical change in life habits.” Never will there be a circle, signifying me and my operations, confined solely to home, other womenfolk, and community service, enclosed in the larger worldly circle of my mate, who brings home from his periphery of contact with the world the tales only of vicarious experience to me. No, rather, there will be two over-lapping circles, with a certain strong riveted center of common ground, but both with separate arcs jutting out in the world. A balanced tension; adaptible to circumstances, in which there is an elasticity of pull, tension, yet firm unity. Two stars, polarized; in moments of communication that is complete, almost fusing onto one. But fusion is an undesirable impossibility - and quite non-durable. So there will be no illusion of that. So he accuses me of “struggling for dominance”? Sorry, wrong number. Sure, I’m a little scared of being dominated. (Who isn’t? Just the submissive, docile, milky type of individual. And that is Not he, Not me.) But that doesn’t mean I, ipso facto, want to dominate. No, it is not a black-and-white choice or alternative like: “Either-I’m-victorious on-top-or-you-are.” It is only balance that I ask for.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Or… maybe I’m not going crazy. “Maybe I’m some sort of android-cyborg-clone-thing, and I’m just breaking down. I’m not sure which way is worse. Dad laughs. “You’re not in your right mind, dear,” he says. “No, no, no, you’re not.” And then— —Silence. Dad fades away. The reverie chair disappears. There’s just blackness. I remember then that I am in the reverie of something dead. Whatever that thing was, it was dead. And, just as I’m starting to wonder if, perhaps, I have died, too, I see a light, far away in the corner of the dreamscape. The light isn’t soft; it’s not glowing. It crackles like silent lightning, burning with electricity, sparks flying out and fizzling in the dark. I don’t know why—it makes no sense, the way dreams often don’t—but I want to touch the light. So I do.
Beth Revis (The Body Electric)
You do not admit the conceivability at all?' he queried. 'But why not? We admit the existence of electricity, of which we know nothing. Why should there not be some new force, still unknown to us, which...' 'When electricity was discovered,' Levin interrupted hurriedly, 'it was only the phenomenon that was discovered, and it was unknown from what it proceeded and what were its effects, and ages passed before its applications were conceived. But the spiritualists have begun with tables writing for them, and spirits appearing to them, and have only later started saying that it is an unknown force.' Vronsky listened attentively to Levin, as he always did listen, obviously interested in his words. 'Yes, but the spiritualists say we don't know at present what this force is, but there is a force, and these are the conditions in which it acts. Let the scientific men find out what the force consists in. Not, I don't see why there should not be a new force, if it...' 'Why, because with electricity,' Levin interrupted again, 'every time you rub tar against wool, a recognized phenomenon is manifested, but in this case it does not happen every time, and so it follows it is not a natural phenomenon.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Jay showed up after school with a bouquet of flowers and an armful of DVDs, although Violet couldn’t have cared less about either . . . he was all she wanted. She couldn’t help the electric thrill of excitement she felt when he came strolling in, grinning at her foolishly as if he hadn’t seen her in weeks rather than hours. He scooped her up from the couch and dropped her onto his lap as he sat down where she had been just a moment before. He was careful to arrange her ankle on a neatly stacked pile of pillows beside him. He stubbornly refused to hide his affection for her, and if Violet hadn’t known better she would have sword that he was going out of his way to make her self-conscious in her own home. Fortunately her parents were giving them some space for the time being, and they were left by themselves most of the time. “Did you miss me?” he asked arrogantly as he gently brushed his lips over hers, not bothering to wait for an answer. She smiled while she kissed him back, loving the topsy-turvy feeling that her stomach always got when he was so close to her. She wound her arms around his neck, forgetting that she was in the middle of the family room and not hidden away in the privacy of her bedroom. He pulled away from her, suddenly serious. “You know, we didn’t get much time alone yesterday. And I didn’t get a chance to tell you . . .” Violet was mesmerized by the thick timbre of his deep voice. She barely heard his words but rather concentrated on the fluid masculinity of his tone. “I feel like I’ve waited too long to finally have you, and then yesterday . . . when . . .” He stopped, seemingly at a loss, and he tried another approach. His hand stroked her cheek, igniting a response from deep within her. “I can’t imagine living without you,” he said, tenderly kissing her forehead, his warm breath fanning her brow. He paused thoughtfully for a moment before speaking again. “I love you, Violet. More than I ever could have imagined. And I don’t want to lose you . . . I can’t lose you.” It was her turn to look arrogant as she glanced up at him. “I know,” she stated smugly, shrugging her shoulder. He shoved her playfully but held on to her tightly so that she never really went anywhere. “What do you mean, ‘I know’? What kind of response is that?” His righteous indignation bordered on comical. He pulled her down into his arms so that his face was directly above hers. “Say it!” he commanded. She shook her head, pretending not to understand him. “What? What do you want me to say?” But then she giggled and ruined her baffled façade. He teased her with his mouth, leaning down to kiss her and then pulling away before his lips ever reached hers. He nuzzled her neck tantalizingly, only to stop once she responded. She wrapped her arms around his neck, trying to pull him closer, frustrated by his mocking ambush of her senses. “Sat it,” he whispered, his breath warm against her neck. She groaned, wanting him to put her out of her misery. “I love you too,” she rasped as she clung to him. “I love you so much . . .” His mouth moved to cover hers in an exhausting kiss that left them both breathless and craving more than they could have. Violet collapsed into his arms, gathering her wits and hoping that no one walking in on them anytime soon.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Putting It into Practice: Neutralizing Negativity Use the techniques below anytime you’d like to lessen the effects of persistent negative thoughts. As you try each technique, pay attention to which ones work best for you and keep practicing them until they become instinctive. You may also discover some of your own that work just as well. ♦ Don’t assume your thoughts are accurate. Just because your mind comes up with something doesn’t necessarily mean it has any validity. Assume you’re missing a lot of elements, many of which could be positive. ♦ See your thoughts as graffiti on a wall or as little electrical impulses flickering around your brain. ♦ Assign a label to your negative experience: self-criticism, anger, anxiety, etc. Just naming what you are thinking and feeling can help you neutralize it. ♦ Depersonalize the experience. Rather than saying “I’m feeling ashamed,” try “There is shame being felt.” Imagine that you’re a scientist observing a phenomenon: “How interesting, there are self-critical thoughts arising.” ♦ Imagine seeing yourself from afar. Zoom out so far, you can see planet Earth hanging in space. Then zoom in to see your continent, then your country, your city, and finally the room you’re in. See your little self, electrical impulses whizzing across your brain. One little being having a particular experience at this particular moment. ♦ Imagine your mental chatter as coming from a radio; see if you can turn down the volume, or even just put the radio to the side and let it chatter away. ♦ Consider the worst-case outcome for your situation. Realize that whatever it is, you’ll survive. ♦ Think of all the previous times when you felt just like this—that you wouldn’t make it through—and yet clearly you did. We’re learning here to neutralize unhelpful thoughts. We want to avoid falling into the trap of arguing with them or trying to suppress them. This would only make matters worse. Consider this: if I ask you not to think of a white elephant—don’t picture a white elephant at all, please!—what’s the first thing your brain serves up? Right. Saying “No white elephants” leads to troops of white pachyderms marching through your mind. Steven Hayes and his colleagues studied our tendency to dwell on the forbidden by asking participants in controlled research studies to spend just a few minutes not thinking of a yellow jeep. For many people, the forbidden thought arose immediately, and with increasing frequency. For others, even if they were able to suppress the thought for a short period of time, at some point they broke down and yellow-jeep thoughts rose dramatically. Participants reported thinking about yellow jeeps with some frequency for days and sometimes weeks afterward. Because trying to suppress a self-critical thought only makes it more central to your thinking, it’s a far better strategy to simply aim to neutralize it. You’ve taken the first two steps in handling internal negativity: destigmatizing discomfort and neutralizing negativity. The third and final step will help you not just to lessen internal negativity but to actually replace it with a different internal reality.
Olivia Fox Cabane (The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism)
A brave man acknowledges the strengths of others, a brave man never surrenders--the honorable kind and the ruthless kind." "and is it selfish of me to crave victory, or is it brave?" "human reason can excuse any evil; that's why it's so important that we don't rely on it." "you're not coward just because you don't want to hurt people. if he is coward, it isn't because he doesn't enjoy pain. it is because he refuses tk act." "what good is a prepared body if you have a scattered mind?" "i think it's important to protect people. to stand up for people. like you did for me. that's what courage is. not... hurting people for no reason." "sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing feels better right now." "i believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another." "my heart beats so hard it hurts, and i can't scream and i can't breathe, but i also feel everything, every vein and every fiber, every bone and every nerve, all awake and buzzing in my body as if charged with electricity . i am pure adrenaline." "learning how to think in the midst of fear is a lesson that everyone needs to learn." "but becoming fearless isn't the point. that's impossible. it's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it, that's the point." "why do you say vague things if you don't want to be asked about them?" "it's really fascinating how it all works. it's basically a struggle between your thalamus, which is producing the fear, and your frontal lobe, which makes decisions. but the simulation is all in your head, so even though you feel like someone is doing it to you, it's just you, doing it to yourself." "maybe. maybe there's more we all could have done, but we just have to let the guilt remind us to do better next time." "you can't be fearless, remember? because you still care about things. about your life.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Tell me the story," said Fenchurch firmly. "You arrived at the station." "I was about twenty minutes early. I'd got the time of the train wrong." "Get on with it." Fenchurch laughed. "So I bought a newspaper, to do the crossword, and went to the buffet to get a cup of coffee." "You do the crossword?" "Yes." "Which one?" "The Guardian usually." "I think it tries to be too cute. I prefer The Times. Did you solve it?" "What?" "The crossword in the Guardian." "I haven't had a chance to look at it yet," said Arthur, "I'm still trying to buy the coffee." "All right then. Buy the coffee." "I'm buying it. I am also," said Arthur, "buying some biscuits." "What sort?" "Rich Tea." "Good Choice." "I like them. Laden with all these new possessions, I go and sit at a table. And don't ask me what the table was like because this was some time ago and I can't remember. It was probably round." "All right." "So let me give you the layout. Me sitting at the table. On my left, the newspaper. On my right, the cup of coffee. In the middle of the table, the packet of biscuits." "I see it perfectly." "What you don't see," said Arthur, "because I haven't mentioned him yet, is the guy sitting at the table already. He is sitting there opposite me." "What's he look like?" "Perfectly ordinary. Briefcase. Business suit. He didn't look," said Arthur, "as if he was about to do anything weird." "Ah. I know the type. What did he do?" "He did this. He leaned across the table, picked up the packet of biscuits, tore it open, took one out, and..." "What?" "Ate it." "What?" "He ate it." Fenchurch looked at him in astonishment. "What on earth did you do?" "Well, in the circumstances I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do. I was compelled," said Arthur, "to ignore it." "What? Why?" "Well, it's not the sort of thing you're trained for is it? I searched my soul, and discovered that there was nothing anywhere in my upbringing, experience or even primal instincts to tell me how to react to someone who has quite simply, calmly, sitting right there in front of me, stolen one of my biscuits." "Well, you could..." Fenchurch thought about it. "I must say I'm not sure what I would have done either. So what happened?" "I stared furiously at the crossword," said Arthur. "Couldn't do a single clue, took a sip of coffee, it was too hot to drink, so there was nothing for it. I braced myself. I took a biscuit, trying very hard not to notice," he added, "that the packet was already mysteriously open..." "But you're fighting back, taking a tough line." "After my fashion, yes. I ate a biscuit. I ate it very deliberately and visibly, so that he would have no doubt as to what it was I was doing. When I eat a biscuit," Arthur said, "it stays eaten." "So what did he do?" "Took another one. Honestly," insisted Arthur, "this is exactly what happened. He took another biscuit, he ate it. Clear as daylight. Certain as we are sitting on the ground." Fenchurch stirred uncomfortably. "And the problem was," said Arthur, "that having not said anything the first time, it was somehow even more difficult to broach the subject a second time around. What do you say? "Excuse me...I couldn't help noticing, er..." Doesn't work. No, I ignored it with, if anything, even more vigor than previously." "My man..." "Stared at the crossword, again, still couldn't budge a bit of it, so showing some of the spirit that Henry V did on St. Crispin's Day..." "What?" "I went into the breach again. I took," said Arthur, "another biscuit. And for an instant our eyes met." "Like this?" "Yes, well, no, not quite like that. But they met. Just for an instant. And we both looked away. But I am here to tell you," said Arthur, "that there was a little electricity in the air. There was a little tension building up over the table. At about this time." "I can imagine.
Douglas Adams
The young girl giggled again and Jake shook his head in amazement. Not only was the U.S. dark operative cooking pancakes, but it seemed he'd won over the timid teenager in no time flat. "I've been entertaining this pretty girl with my vast repertoire of daring and heroic adventures from around the globe." Jake snorted as he opened the refrigerator and pulled out the container of orange juice. "You sound like Blackbeard the pirate. Don't believe a word he says, Alyssa. He's actually Insurance salesman and lies like a rug." "An Insurance salesman?" She narrowed her eyes at Carter as he flipped three pancackes off the electric griddle sitting on the island and onto a plate for her. "I knew you were conning me," she chastised, then rolled her eyes toward Jake. "He said he was a government spy, like James Bond." After filling a glass, Jake smirked at his friend who shrugged his shoulders and gave the girl a sad puppy-dog expression. "Who are you going to believe, me or Jake from State Farm?
Samantha A. Cole (Topping the Alpha (Trident Security, #4))
But as I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love, for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of God. I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings.   No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart. These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out,
Charles Grandison Finney (Autobiography of Charles G. Finney, The, repack: The Life Story of Americas Greatest EvangelistIn His Own Words)
Young has a personal relationship with electricity. In Europe, where the electrical current is sixty cycles, not fifty, he can pinpoint the fluctuation --- by degrees. It dumbfounded Cragg. "He'll say, 'Larry, there's a hundred volts coming out of the wall, isn't there?' I'll go measure it, and yeah, sure --- he can hear the difference." Shakey's innovations are everywhere. Intent on controlling amp volume from his guitar instead of the amp, Young had a remote device designed called the Whizzer. Guitarists marvel at the stomp box that lies onstage at Young's feet: a byzantine gang of effects that can be utilized without any degradation to the original signal. Just constructing the box's angular red wooden housing to Young's extreme specifications had craftsmen pulling their hair out. Cradled in a stand in front of the amps is the fuse for the dynamite, Young's trademark ax--Old Black, a '53 Gold Top Les Paul some knot-head daubed with black paint eons ago. Old Black's features include a Bigsby wang bar, which pulls strings and bends notes, and Firebird picking so sensitive you can talk through it. It's a demonic instrument. "Old black doesn't sound like any other guitar," said Cragg, shaking his head. For Cragg, Old Black is a nightmare. Young won't permit the ancient frets to be changed, likes his strings old and used, and the Bigsby causes the guitar to go out of tune constantly. "At Sound check, everything will work great. Neil picks up the guitar, and for some reason that's when things go wrong.
Jimmy McDonough (Shakey: Neil Young's Biography)
You've asked me what the lobster is weaving there with his golden feet? I reply, the ocean knows this. You say, what is the ascidia waiting for in its transparent bell? What is it waiting for? I tell you it is waiting for time, like you. You ask me whom the Macrocystis alga hugs in its arms? Study, study it, at a certain hour, in a certain sea I know. You question me about the wicked tusk of the narwhal, and I reply by describing how the sea unicorn with the harpoon in it dies. You enquire about the kingfisher's feathers, which tremble in the pure springs of the southern tides? Or you've found in the cards a new question touching on the crystal architecture of the sea anemone, and you'll deal that to me now? You want to understand the electric nature of the ocean spines? The armored stalactite that breaks as it walks? The hook of the angler fish, the music stretched out in the deep places like a thread in the water? I want to tell you the ocean knows this, that life in its jewel boxes is endless as the sand, impossible to count, pure, and among the blood-colored grapes time has made the petal hard and shiny, made the jellyfish full of light and untied its knot, letting its musical threads fall from a horn of plenty made of infinite mother-of-pearl. I am nothing but the empty net which has gone on ahead of human eyes, dead in those darknesses, of fingers accustomed to the triangle, longitudes on the timid globe of an orange. I walked around as you do, investigating the endless star, and in my net, during the night, I woke up naked, the only thing caught, a fish trapped inside the wind.
Pablo Neruda
What did I do now?” He reluctantly pulled the car the curb. I needed to get out of this car – like now. I couldn’t breathe. I unbuckled and flung open the door. “Thanks for the ride. Bye.” I slammed the door shut and began down the sidewalk. Behind me, I heard the engine turn off and his door open and shut. I quickened my stride as James jogged up to me. I slowed down knowing I couldn’t escape his long legs anyway. Plus, I didn’t want to get home all sweaty and have to explain myself. “What happened?” James asked, matching my pace. “Leave me alone!” I snapped back. I felt his hand grab my elbow, halting me easily. “Stop,” he ordered. Damn it, he’s strong! “What are you pissed about now?” He towered over me. I was trapped in front of him, if he tugged a bit, I’d be in his embrace. “It’s so funny huh? I’m that bad? I’m a clown, I’m so funny!” I jerked my arm, trying to break free of his grip. “Let me go!” “No!” He squeezed tighter, pulling me closer. “Leave me alone!” I spit the words like venom, pulling my arm with all my might. “What’s your problem?” James demanded loudly. His hand tightened on my arm with each attempt to pull away. My energy was dwindling and I was mentally exhausted. I stopped jerking my arm back, deciding it was pointless because he was too strong; there was no way I could pull my arm back without first kneeing him in the balls. We were alone, standing in the dark of night in a neighborhood that didn’t see much traffic. “Fireball?” he murmured softly. “What?” I replied quietly, defeated. Hesitantly, he asked, “Did I say something to make you sad?” I wasn’t going to mention the boyfriend thing; there was no way. “Yes,” I whimpered. That’s just great, way to sound strong there, now he’ll have no reason not to pity you! “I’m sorry,” came his quiet reply. Well maybe ‘I’m sorry’ just isn’t good enough. The damage is already done! “Whatever.” “What can I do to make it all better?” “There’s nothing you could–” I began but was interrupted by him pulling me against his body. His arms encircled my waist, holding me tight. My arms instinctively bent upwards, hands firmly planted against his solid chest. Any resentment I had swiftly melted away as something brand new took its place: pleasure. Jesus! “What do you think you’re doing?” I asked him softly; his face was only a few inches from mine. “What do you think you’re doing?” James asked back, looking down at my hands on his chest. I slowly slid my arms up around his neck. I can’t believe I just did that! “That’s better.” Our bodies were plastered against one another; I felt a new kind of nervousness touch every single inch of my body, it prickled electrically. “James,” I murmured softly. “Fireball,” he whispered back. “What do you think you’re doing?” I repeated; my brain felt frozen. My heart had stopped beating a mile a minute instead issuing slow, heavy beats. James uncurled one of his arms from my waist and trailed it along my back to the base of my neck, holding it firmly yet delicately. Blood rushed to the very spot he was holding, heat filled my eyes as I stared at him. “What are you doing?” My bewilderment was audible in the hush. I wasn’t sure I had the capacity to speak anymore. That function had fled along with the bitch. Her replacement was a delicate flower that yearned to be touched and taken care of. I felt his hand shift on my neck, ever so slightly, causing my head to tilt up to him. Slowly, inch by inch, his face descended on mine, stopping just a breath away from my trembling lips. I wanted it. Badly. My lips parted a fraction, letting a thread of air escape. “Can I?” His breath was warm on my lips. Fuck it! “Yeah,” I whispered back. He closed the distance until his lush lips covered mine. My first kiss…damn! His lips moved softly over mine. I felt his grip on my neck squeeze as his lips pressed deeper into
Sarah Tork (Young Annabelle (Y.A #1))
think of climate change as slow, but it is unnervingly fast. We think of the technological change necessary to avert it as fast-arriving, but unfortunately it is deceptively slow—especially judged by just how soon we need it. This is what Bill McKibben means when he says that winning slowly is the same as losing: “If we don’t act quickly, and on a global scale, then the problem will literally become insoluble,” he writes. “The decisions we make in 2075 won’t matter.” Innovation, in many cases, is the easy part. This is what the novelist William Gibson meant when he said, “The future is already here, it just isn’t evenly distributed.” Gadgets like the iPhone, talismanic for technologists, give a false picture of the pace of adaptation. To a wealthy American or Swede or Japanese, the market penetration may seem total, but more than a decade after its introduction, the device is used by less than 10 percent of the world; for all smartphones, even the “cheap” ones, the number is somewhere between a quarter and a third. Define the technology in even more basic terms, as “cell phones” or “the internet,” and you get a timeline to global saturation of at least decades—of which we have two or three, in which to completely eliminate carbon emissions, planetwide. According to the IPCC, we have just twelve years to cut them in half. The longer we wait, the harder it will be. If we had started global decarbonization in 2000, when Al Gore narrowly lost election to the American presidency, we would have had to cut emissions by only about 3 percent per year to stay safely under two degrees of warming. If we start today, when global emissions are still growing, the necessary rate is 10 percent. If we delay another decade, it will require us to cut emissions by 30 percent each year. This is why U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres believes we have only one year to change course and get started. The scale of the technological transformation required dwarfs any achievement that has emerged from Silicon Valley—in fact dwarfs every technological revolution ever engineered in human history, including electricity and telecommunications and even the invention of agriculture ten thousand years ago. It dwarfs them by definition, because it contains all of them—every single one needs to be replaced at the root, since every single one breathes on carbon, like a ventilator.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
We lunged for each other at the same time and collided, crazy with need and starving for a taste. Warnings and alarms wailed in my mind, but I shut them down. Screw it. I wanted him. He found my mouth. The thrust of his tongue against mine made my head spin. He tasted like heaven. I kissed him back, nipping, licking, melting against him. It felt so good . . . His lips traced a fiery line from my mouth to the corner of my jaw and down my neck. My whole body sang in warm liquid triumph. His voice was a ragged whisper in my ear. “Only if you want to . . . Say no, and I’ll stop.” “No,” I whispered to see if he would do it. Curran pulled back. His eyes were pure need, raw and barely under control. He swallowed. “Okay.” It was the most erotic thing I had ever seen. I reached for him and slid my hand up his chest, feeling the taut muscle. He caught my hand and kissed my palm gently. Heated, tightly controlled want shone in his eyes. I pulled my fingers free, pushed from the wall, and kissed his throat just under the jaw. This was bliss. There was no hope for me. He growled, closing his eyes. “What are you doing?” “Pulling on Death’s whiskers,” I murmured, letting my tongue play over his skin, rough with stubble. He smelled divine, clean and male. My hands slid up his biceps. His muscles tensed under the light pressure of my fingers. He was trying very, very hard to stand still and I almost laughed. All those times when he’d called me “baby” . . . Revenge was sweet. “Is that a yes or a no?” he asked. I slid against him and nipped his bottom lip. “I’ll take it as a yes.” The steel muscles of his arms flexed under my hands. He grabbed me, hoisted me up onto him, and kissed me, thrusting into my mouth with his tongue in a hot, slick rhythm, greedy and eager. I threw my arms around his neck. His right hand grasped my hair, his left cupped my butt and pushed me closer against him, his erection a hard, hot length across my lap. Finally— “Let me in,” Derek growled at the door. Go away. The guard said something. Curran’s hand found my breast and caressed the nipple, sending an electric shock through my skin, threatening to melt me . . . “Yes,” Derek snarled. “I’m a member of the damn team. Ask them.” “Curran,” I whispered. “Curran!” He snarled and kept going. The door swung open. I hit him on the back of the neck. He submerged. Help. I’ve drowned the Beast Lord.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
The widespread use of gold in religious artifacts may be of special significance. Gold is a useless metal. It is too soft to be used in tools or cookware. It is also rare and difficult to mine and extract, especially for primitive peoples. But from the earliest times gold was regarded as a sacred metal, and men who encountered gods were ordered to supply it. Over and over again the Bible tells us how men were instructed to create solid gold objects and leave them on mountaintops where the gods could get them. The gods were gold hungry. But why? Gold is an excellent conductor of electricity and is a heavy metal, ranking close to mercury and lead on the atomic scale. We could simplify things by saying that the atoms of gold, element 79, are packed closely together. If the ancient gods were real in some sense, they may have come from a space-time continuum so different from ours that their atomic structure was different. They could walk through walls because their atoms were able to pass through the atoms of stone. Gold was one of the few earthly substances dense enough for them to handle. If they sat in a wooden chair, they would sink through it. They needed gold furniture during their visits.
John A. Keel (THE EIGHTH TOWER: On Ultraterrestrials and the Superspectrum)
I once read the most widely understood word in the whole world is ‘OK’, followed by ‘Coke’, as in cola. I think they should do the survey again, this time checking for ‘Game Over’. Game Over is my favorite thing about playing video games. Actually, I should qualify that. It’s the split second before Game Over that’s my favorite thing. Streetfighter II - an oldie but goldie - with Leo controlling Ryu. Ryu’s his best character because he’s a good all-rounder - great defensive moves, pretty quick, and once he’s on an offensive roll, he’s unstoppable. Theo’s controlling Blanka. Blanka’s faster than Ryu, but he’s really only good on attack. The way to win with Blanka is to get in the other player’s face and just never let up. Flying kick, leg-sweep, spin attack, head-bite. Daze them into submission. Both players are down to the end of their energy bars. One more hit and they’re down, so they’re both being cagey. They’re hanging back at opposite ends of the screen, waiting for the other guy to make the first move. Leo takes the initiative. He sends off a fireball to force Theo into blocking, then jumps in with a flying kick to knock Blanka’s green head off. But as he’s moving through the air he hears a soft tapping. Theo’s tapping the punch button on his control pad. He’s charging up an electricity defense so when Ryu’s foot makes contact with Blanka’s head it’s going to be Ryu who gets KO’d with 10,000 volts charging through his system. This is the split second before Game Over. Leo’s heard the noise. He knows he’s fucked. He has time to blurt ‘I’m toast’ before Ryu is lit up and thrown backwards across the screen, flashing like a Christmas tree, a charred skeleton. Toast. The split second is the moment you comprehend you’re just about to die. Different people react to it in different ways. Some swear and rage. Some sigh or gasp. Some scream. I’ve heard a lot of screams over the twelve years I’ve been addicted to video games. I’m sure that this moment provides a rare insight into the way people react just before they really do die. The game taps into something pure and beyond affectations. As Leo hears the tapping he blurts, ‘I’m toast.’ He says it quickly, with resignation and understanding. If he were driving down the M1 and saw a car spinning into his path I think he’d in react the same way. Personally, I’m a rager. I fling my joypad across the floor, eyes clenched shut, head thrown back, a torrent of abuse pouring from my lips. A couple of years ago I had a game called Alien 3. It had a great feature. When you ran out of lives you’d get a photo-realistic picture of the Alien with saliva dripping from its jaws, and a digitized voice would bleat, ‘Game over, man!’ I really used to love that.
Alex Garland
I have spent these last two days in concentrated introspection," said Cutie, "and the results have been most interesting. I began at the one sure assumption I felt permitted to make.I, myself, exist, because I think-" Powell groaned, "Oh, Jupiter, a robot Descartes!" "Who's Descartes?" demanded Donovan. "Listen, do we have to sit here and listen to this metal maniac-" "Keep quiet, Mike!" Cutie continued imperturbably, "And the question that immediately arose was: Just what is the cause of my existence?" Powell's jaw set lumpily. "You're being foolish. I told you already that we made you." "And if you don't believe us," added Donovan, "we'll gladly take you apart!" The robot spread his strong hands in a deprecatory gesture, "I accept nothing on authority. A hypothesis must be backed by reason, or else it is worthless - and it goes against all the dictates of logic to suppose that you made me." Powell dropped a restraining arm upon Donovan's suddenly unched fist. "Just why do you say that?" Cutie laughed. It was a very inhuman laugh - the most machine-like utterance he had yet given vent to. It was sharp and explosive, as regular as a metronome and as uninflected. "Look at you," he said finally. "I say this in no spirit of contempt, but look at you! The material you are made of is soft and flabby, lacking endurance and strength, depending for energy upon the inefficient oxidation of organic material - like that." He pointed a disapproving finger at what remained of Donovan's sandwich. "Periodically you pass into a coma and the least variation in temperature, air ressure, humidity, or radiation intensity impairs your efficiency. You are _makeshift_. "I, on the other hand, am a finished product. I absorb electrical energy directly and utilize it with an almost one hundred percent efficiency. I am composed of strong metal, am continuously conscious, and can stand extremes of environment easily. These are facts which, with the self-evident proposition that no being can create another being superior to itself, smashes your silly hypothesis to nothing.
Isaac Asimov
So all that took place at the hotel,” he said, “consisted of a—” “The association,” Rachael said, “wanted to reach the bounty hunters here and in the Soviet Union. This [having sex] seemed to work…for reasons which we do not fully understand. Our limitation again, I guess.” “I doubt if it works as often or as well as you say,” he said thickly. “But it has with you.” “We’ll see.” “I already know,” Rachael said. “When I saw that expression on your face, that grief. I look for that.” “How many times have you done this?” “I don’t remember. Seven, eight. No, I believe it’s nine.” She—or rather it—nodded. “Yes, nine times.” “The idea is old-fashioned,” Rick said. Startled, Rachael said, “W-What?” Pushing the steering wheel away from him, he put the car into a gliding decline. “Or anyhow that’s how it strikes me. I’m going to kill you,” he said. “And go on to Roy and Irmgard Baty and Pris Stratton alone.” “That’s why you’re landing?” Apprehensively, she said, “There’s a fine; I’m the property, the legal property, of the association. I’m not an escaped android who fled here from Mars; I’m not in the same class as the others.” “But,” he said, “if I can kill you then I can kill them.” Her hands dived for her bulging, overstuffed, kipple-filled purse; she searched frantically, then gave up. “Goddamn this purse,” she said with ferocity. “I never can lay my hands on anything in it. Will you kill me in a way that won’t hurt? I mean, do it carefully. If I don’t fight; okay? I promise not to fight. Do you agree?” Rick said, “I understand now why Phil Resch said what he said. He wasn’t being cynical; he had just learned too much. Going through this—I can’t blame him. It warped him.” “But the wrong way.” She seemed more externally composed now. But still fundamentally frantic and tense. Yet, the dark fire waned; the life force oozed out of her, as he had so often witnessed before with other androids. The classic resignation. Mechanical, intellectual acceptance of that which a genuine organism—with two billion years of the pressure to live and evolve hagriding it—could never have reconciled itself to. “I can’t stand the way you androids give up,” he said savagely.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
That something I cannot yet define completely but the feeling comes when you write well and truly of something and know impersonally you have written in that way and those who are paid to read it and report on it do not like the subject so they say it is all a fake, yet you know its value absolutely; or when you do something which people do not consider a serious occupation and yet you know, truly, that it is as important and has always been as important as all th things that are in fashion, and when, on the sea, you are alone with it and know that this Gulf Stream you are living with, knowing, learning about, and loving, has moved, as it moves, since before man and that it has gone by the shoreline of that long, beautiful, unhappy island since before Columbus sighted it and that the things you find out about it, and those that have always lived in it are permanent and of value because that stream will flow, as it has flowed, after the Indians, after the Spaniards, after the British, after the Americans and after all the Cubans and all the systems of governments, the richness, the poverty, the martyrdom, the sacrifice and the venality and the cruelty are all gone as the high-piled scow of garbage, bright-colored, white-flecked, ill-smelling, now tilted on its side, spills off its load into the blue water, turning it a pale green to a depth of four or five fathoms as the load spreads across the surface, the sinkable part going down and the flotsam of palm fronds, corks, bottles, and used electric light globes, seasoned with an occasional condom or a deep floating corset, the torn leaves of a student's exercise book, a well-inflated dog, the occasional rat, the no-longer-distinguished cat; well shepherded by the boats of the garbage pickers who pluck their prizes with long poles, as interested, as intelligent, and as accurate as historians; they have the viewpoint; the stream, with no visible flow, takes five loads of this a day when things are going well in La Habana and in ten miles along the coast it is as clear and blue and unimpressed as it was ever before the tug hauled out the scow; and the palm fronds of our victories, the worn light bulbs of our discoveries and the empty condoms of our great loves float with no significance against one single, lasting thing - the stream.
Ernest Hemingway
{From Luther Burbank's funeral. He was loved until he revealed he was an atheist, then he began to receive death threats. He tried to amiably answer them all, leading to his death} It is impossible to estimate the wealth he has created. It has been generously given to the world. Unlike inventors, in other fields, no patent rights were given him, nor did he seek a monopoly in what he created. Had that been the case, Luther Burbank would have been perhaps the world's richest man. But the world is richer because of him. In this he found joy that no amount of money could give. And so we meet him here today, not in death, but in the only immortal life we positively know--his good deeds, his kindly, simple, life of constructive work and loving service to the whole wide world. These things cannot die. They are cumulative, and the work he has done shall be as nothing to its continuation in the only immortality this brave, unselfish man ever sought, or asked to know. As great as were his contributions to the material wealth of this planet, the ages yet to come, that shall better understand him, will give first place in judging the importance of his work to what he has done for the betterment of human plants and the strength they shall gain, through his courage, to conquer the tares, the thistles and the weeds. Then no more shall we have a mythical God that smells of brimstone and fire; that confuses hate with love; a God that binds up the minds of little children, as other heathen bind up their feet--little children equally helpless to defend their precious right to think and choose and not be chained from the dawn of childhood to the dogmas of the dead. Luther Burbank will rank with the great leaders who have driven heathenish gods back into darkness, forever from this earth. In the orthodox threat of eternal punishment for sin--which he knew was often synonymous with yielding up all liberty and freedom--and in its promise of an immortality, often held out for the sacrifice of all that was dear to life, the right to think, the right to one's mind, the right to choose, he saw nothing but cowardice. He shrank from such ways of thought as a flower from the icy blasts of death. As shown by his work in life, contributing billions of wealth to humanity, with no more return than the maintenance of his own breadline, he was too humble, too unselfish, to be cajoled with dogmatic promises of rewards as a sort of heavenly bribe for righteous conduct here. He knew that the man who fearlessly stands for the right, regardless of the threat of punishment or the promise of reward, was the real man. Rather was he willing to accept eternal sleep, in returning to the elements from whence he came, for in his lexicon change was life. Here he was content to mingle as a part of the whole, as the raindrop from the sea performs its sacred service in watering the land to which it is assigned, that two blades may grow instead of one, and then, its mission ended, goes back to the ocean from whence it came. With such service, with such a life as gardener to the lilies of the field, in his return to the bosoms of infinity, he has not lost himself. There he has found himself, is a part of the cosmic sea of eternal force, eternal energy. And thus he lived and always will live. Thomas Edison, who believes very much as Burbank, once discussed with me immortality. He pointed to the electric light, his invention, saying: 'There lives Tom Edison.' So Luther Burbank lives. He lives forever in the myriad fields of strengthened grain, in the new forms of fruits and flowers, plants, vines, and trees, and above all, the newly watered gardens of the human mind, from whence shall spring human freedom that shall drive out false and brutal gods. The gods are toppling from their thrones. They go before the laughter and the joy of the new childhood of the race, unshackled and unafraid.
Benjamin Barr Lindsey
The explosion was deafening; a huge cloud of fire rolled out the window after us, its immense heat brushing my face as we tumbled into the snow. We hit the ground and rolled. Flaming debris from the house came down around us; Griffin shoved me flat on my back, covering us both with his heavy coat. The echoes of the explosion reflected back across the river, then slowly dwindled away, like dying thunder. The leaping flames threw warm light onto the falling snow, turning it into a storm of sparks pouring down from the heavens. Griffin started to push himself off of me, then stoped. His hands were braced on either side of my shoulders, his legs twined with mine. Mt heart pounded, my palms sweated, and I was suddenly, acutely aware of how close his face was to mine. "You're a madman," he whispered. "An utter madman." "Perhaps," I allowed. "But it worked." The leaping light from the burning house painted his features in gold, highlighting his patrician nose and finding threads of brown and blue in his green eyes. His pupils widened, the irises contracting to silver. "Whatever am I going to do with you?" he murmured. The warmth of his breath feathered over my skin. Heat collected in my groin, my lips. My mouth was dry, my voice hoarse, and perhaps he was right and it was madness when I whispered, "Whatever you want." A shiver went through his body, perhaps because we were lying on the cold ground. But instead of getting up, he leaned closer, his overlong hair tumbling over his forehead. He paused, his mouth almost touching mine, his eyes seeming to ask a question. It was madness; it was folly; it was sheer selfishness. I was delusional, misguided, wrong, out of control. I needed to pull back, to say something sane, to re-establish mastery over myself. I could not do this. I could not take the risk. Later tonight, I'd relive this moment in my lonely bed and wonder if I'd done the right thing. But at least that would be familiar, would be something I knew how to cope with. And yet the very thought felt like dying. I surged forward, crossing the final, tiny gap and pressing my lips to his. It was awkward and desperate and frantic, but the feel of his mouth against mine sent a bolt of electricity straight down my spine. Just a moment, just this one kiss, surely that would be enough... Then he kissed me back, and it would never be enough, a thousand years of this would not be enough. His mouth was hungry and insistent, his tongue probing my lips, asking for greater intimacy. I granted it, tongues swirling together, mine followed his when it retreated and tasting him in return. There came the clanging of bells in the distance, the fire company alerted to the explosion. Griffin drew back a fraction. His breath was as raged as mine, which left me dazed with wonder. "My dear," he whispered against my lips. Then he swallowed convulsively. "We should leave, before the fire companies come." "Y-Yes." It was amazing I managed that much coherence. He closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against mine, our breaths mingling. "Will you come home with me?" Was he asking...? "Yes." Oh, God, yes. His lips curved into a smile.
Jordan L. Hawk (Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin, #1))
What is the vril?” I asked. Therewith Zee began to enter into an explanation of which I understood very little, for there is no word in any language I know which is an exact synonym for vril. I should call it electricity, except that it comprehends in its manifold branches other forces of nature, to which, in our scientific nomenclature, differing names are assigned, such as magnetism, galvanism, &c. These people consider that in vril they have arrived at the unity in natural energetic agencies, which has been conjectured by many philosophers above ground, and which Faraday thus intimates under the more cautious term of correlation:— “I have long held an opinion,” says that illustrious experimentalist, “almost amounting to a conviction, in common, I believe, with many other lovers of natural knowledge, that the various forms under which the forces of matter are made manifest, have one common origin; or, in other words, are so directly related and mutually dependent that they are convertible, as it were into one another, and possess equivalents of power in their action. These subterranean philosophers assert that by one operation of vril, which Faraday would perhaps call ‘atmospheric magnetism,’ they can influence the variations of temperature—in plain words, the weather; that by operations, akin to those ascribed to mesmerism, electro-biology, odic force, &c., but applied scientifically, through vril conductors, they can exercise influence over minds, and bodies animal and vegetable, to an extent not surpassed in the romances of our mystics. To all such agencies they give the common name of vril.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (The Coming Race)
Since our civilization is irreversibly dependent on electronics, abolition of EMR is out of the question. However, as a first step toward averting disaster, we must halt the introduction of new sources of electromagnetic energy while we investigate the biohazards of those we already have with a completeness and honesty that have so far been in short supply. New sources must be allowed only after their risks have been evaluated on the basis of the knowledge acquired in such a moratorium. 
With an adequately funded research program, the moratorium need last no more than five years, and the ensuing changes could almost certainly be performed without major economic trauma. It seems possible that a different power frequency—say 400 hertz instead of 60—might prove much safer. Burying power lines and providing them with grounded shields would reduce the electric fields around them, and magnetic shielding is also feasible. 
A major part of the safety changes would consist of energy-efficiency reforms that would benefit the economy in the long run. These new directions would have been taken years ago but for the opposition of power companies concerned with their short-term profits, and a government unwilling to challenge them. It is possible to redesign many appliances and communications devices so they use far less energy. The entire power supply could be decentralized by feeding electricity from renewable sources (wind, flowing water, sunlight, georhermal and ocean thermal energy conversion, and so forth) into local distribution nets. This would greatly decrease hazards by reducing the voltages and amperages required. Ultimately, most EMR hazards could be eliminated by the development of efficient photoelectric converters to be used as the primary power source at each point of consumption. The changeover would even pay for itself, as the loss factors of long-distance power transmission—not to mention the astronomical costs of building and decommissioning short-lived nuclear power plants—were eliminated. Safety need not imply giving up our beneficial machines. 
Obviously, given the present technomilitary control of society in most parts of the world, such sane efficiency will be immensely difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, we must try. Electromagnetic energy presents us with the same imperative as nuclear energy: Our survival depends on the ability of upright scientists and other people of goodwill to break the military-industrial death grip on our policy-making institutions.
Robert O. Becker (The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life)
John Isidore said, “I found a spider.” The three androids glanced up, momentarily moving their attention from the TV screen to him. “Let’s see it,” Pris said. She held out her hand. Roy Baty said, “Don’t talk while Buster is on.” “I’ve never seen a spider,” Pris said. She cupped the medicine bottle in her palms, surveying the creature within. “All those legs. Why’s it need so many legs, J. R.?” “That’s the way spiders are,” Isidore said, his heart pounding; he had difficulty breathing. “Eight legs.” Rising to her feet, Pris said, “You know what I think, J. R.? I think it doesn’t need all those legs.” “Eight?” Irmgard Baty said. “Why couldn’t it get by on four? Cut four off and see.” Impulsively opening her purse, she produced a pair of clean, sharp cuticle scissors, which she passed to Pris. A weird terror struck at J. R. Isidore. Carrying the medicine bottle into the kitchen, Pris seated herself at J. R. Isidore’s breakfast table. She removed the lid from the bottle and dumped the spider out. “It probably won’t be able to run as fast,” she said, “but there’s nothing for it to catch around here anyhow. It’ll die anyway.” She reached for the scissors. “Please,” Isidore said. Pris glanced up inquiringly. “Is it worth something?” “Don’t mutilate it,” he said wheezingly. Imploringly. With the scissors, Pris snipped off one of the spider’s legs. In the living room Buster Friendly on the TV screen said, “Take a look at this enlargement of a section of background. This is the sky you usually see. Wait, I’ll have Earl Parameter, head of my research staff, explain their virtually world-shaking discovery to you.” Pris clipped off another leg, restraining the spider with the edge of her hand. She was smiling. “Blowups of the video pictures,” a new voice from the TV said, “when subjected to rigorous laboratory scrutiny, reveal that the gray backdrop of sky and daytime moon against which Mercer moves is not only not Terran—it is artificial.” “You’re missing it!” Irmgard called anxiously to Pris; she rushed to the kitchen door, saw what Pris had begun doing. “Oh, do that afterward,” she said coaxingly. “This is so important, what they’re saying; it proves that everything we believed—” “Be quiet,” Roy Baty said. “—is true,” Irmgard finished. The TV set continued, “The ‘moon’ is painted; in the enlargements, one of which you see now on your screen, brush strokes show. And there is even some evidence that the scraggly weeds and dismal, sterile soil—perhaps even the stones hurled at Mercer by unseen alleged parties—are equally faked. It is quite possible in fact that the ‘stones’ are made of soft plastic, causing no authentic wounds.” “In other words,” Buster Friendly broke in, “Wilbur Mercer is not suffering at all.” The research chief said, “We at last managed, Mr. Friendly, to track down a former Hollywood special-effects man, a Mr. Wade Cortot, who flatly states, from his years of experience, that the figure of ‘Mercer’ could well be merely some bit player marching across a sound stage. Cortot has gone so far as to declare that he recognizes the stage as one used by a now out-of-business minor moviemaker with whom Cortot had various dealings several decades ago.” “So according to Cortot,” Buster Friendly said, “there can be virtually no doubt.” Pris had now cut three legs from the spider, which crept about miserably on the kitchen table, seeking a way out, a path to freedom. It found none.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
I Won’t Write Your Obituary You asked if you could call to say goodbye if you were ever really gonna kill yourself. Sure, but I won’t write your obituary. I’ll commission it from some dead-end journalist who will say things like: “At peace… Better place… Fought the good fight…” Maybe reference the loving embrace of Capital-G-God at least 4 times. Maybe quote Charles fucking Bukowski. And I won’t stop them because I won’t write your obituary. But if you call me, I will write you a new sky, one you can taste. I will write you a D-I-Y cloud maker so on days when you can’t do anything you can still make clouds in whatever shape you want them. I will write you letters, messages in bottles, in cages, in orange peels, in the distance between here and the moon, in forests and rivers and bird songs. I will write you songs. I can’t write music, but I’ll find Rihanna, and I’ll get her to write you music if it will make you want to dance a little longer. I will write you a body whose veins are electricity because outlets are easier to find than good shrinks, but we will find you a good shrink. I will write you 1-800-273-8255, that’s the suicide hotline; we can call it together. And yeah, you can call me, but I won’t tell you it’s okay, that I forgive you. I won’t say “goodbye” or “I love you” one last time. You won’t leave on good terms with me, Because I will not forgive you. I won’t read you your last rights, absolve you of sin, watch you sail away on a flaming viking ship, my hand glued to my forehead. I will not hold your hand steady around a gun. And after, I won’t come by to pick up the package of body parts you will have left specifically for me. I’ll get a call like “Ma’am, what would you have us do with them?” And I’ll say, “Burn them. Feed them to stray cats. Throw them at school children. Hurl them at the sea. I don’t care. I don’t want them.” I don’t want your heart. It’s not yours anymore, it’s just a heart now and I already have one. I don’t want your lungs, just deflated birthday party balloons that can’t breathe anymore. I don’t want a jar of your teeth as a memento. I don’t want your ripped off skin, a blanket to wrap myself in when I need to feel like your still here. You won’t be there. There’s no blood there, there’s no life there, there’s no you there. I want you. And I will write you so many fucking dead friend poems, that people will confuse my tongue with your tombstone and try to plant daisies in my throat before I ever write you an obituary while you’re still fucking here. So the answer to your question is “yes”. If you’re ever really gonna kill yourself, yes, please, call me.
Nora Cooper
Here’s a crash course in the economy,” said Hunter. “Americans get up each morning and go to factories and farms and fire stations and work their whole lives, creating actual products you can hold in your hands. Or some service that benefits. I mean, what the fuck’s that about?” “Work isn’t good?” “It’s the damn workers who crashed the economy.” “I thought it was you,” said Serge. “Don’t be a comedian.” Hunter started counting off on his fingers. “They lost their retirement accounts, their mortgages, their homes, even their jobs. Can’t these assholes do anything right?” “You on the other hand?” “We ended up with all the cash. And then the people turned to the government and went, ‘Holy shit! What happened to all our goddamn money? Do something!’ So the government takes even more money from the workers and—this part is absolutely priceless—they give it all to us again! Now you tell me who’s the success story.” “But what’s so hard about accepting free money?” “That’s exactly what I was thinking when half the country screamed, ‘I’ll kick your fucking ass if you give me health care!’ ” “Sounds too good for words,” said Serge. “It’s good enough for one word,” said Hunter. “Socialism.” Serge pounded the bar with his fist. “Fuck socialism.” “Don’t say that!” Hunter took a swig. “I love socialism.” “You do?” Hunter nodded hard. “Finest word in the English language. Just mention socialism, and everyone gets blinded by rage, takes their eyes off us and prints up T-shirts that insult the president.” Bleadoph raised his hands toward the ceiling in exultation. “Thank God he was elected!” “Forgive my ignorance,” said Serge, “but weren’t the bailouts socialism?” Hunter shook his head. “It’s only socialism if the money goes down, not up.” “A toast,” said Serge. “To socialism!” “To socialism!
Tim Dorsey (Electric Barracuda (Serge Storms #13))
Buster Friendly said, “We may never know. Nor can we fathom the peculiar purpose behind this swindle. Yes, folks, swindle. Mercerism is a swindle!” “I think we know,” Roy Baty said. “It’s obvious. Mercerism came into existence—” “But ponder this,” Buster Friendly continued. “Ask yourselves what is it that Mercerism does. Well, if we’re to believe its many practitioners, the experience fuses—” “It’s that empathy that humans have,” Irmgard said. “—men and women throughout the Sol System into a single entity. But an entity which is manageable by the so-called telepathic voice of ‘Mercer.’ Mark that. An ambitious politically minded would-be Hitler could—” “No, it’s that empathy,” Irmgard said vigorously. Fists clenched, she roved into the kitchen, up to Isidore. “Isn’t it a way of proving that humans can do something we can’t do? Because without the Mercer experience we just have your word that you feel this empathy business, this shared, group thing. How’s the spider?” She bent over Pris’s shoulder. With the scissors, Pris snipped off another of the spider’s legs. “Four now,” she said. She nudged the spider. “He won’t go. But he can.” Roy Baty appeared at the doorway, inhaling deeply, an expression of accomplishment on his face. “It’s done. Buster said it out loud, and nearly every human in the system heard him say it. ‘Mercerism is a swindle.’ The whole experience of empathy is a swindle.” He came over to look curiously at the spider. “It won’t try to walk,” Irmgard said. “I can make it walk.” Roy Baty got out a book of matches, lit a match; he held it near the spider, closer and closer, until at last it crept feebly away. “I was right,” Irmgard said. “Didn’t I say it could walk with only four legs?” She peered up expectantly at Isidore. “What’s the matter?” Touching his arm she said, “You didn’t lose anything; we’ll pay you what that—what’s it called?—that Sidney’s catalogue says. Don’t look so grim. Isn’t that something about Mercer, what they discovered? All that research? Hey, answer.” She prodded him anxiously. “He’s upset,” Pris said. “Because he has an empathy box. In the other room. Do you use it, J. R.?” she asked Isidore. Roy Baty said, “Of course he uses it. They all do—or did. Maybe now they’ll start wondering.” “I don’t think this will end the cult of Mercer,” Pris said. “But right this minute there’re a lot of unhappy human beings.” To Isidore she said, “We’ve waited for months; we all knew it was coming, this pitch of Buster’s.” She hesitated and then said, “Well, why not. Buster is one of us.” “An android,” Irmgard explained. “And nobody knows. No humans, I mean.” Pris, with the scissors, cut yet another leg from the spider. All at once John Isidore pushed her away and lifted up the mutilated creature. He carried it to the sink and there he drowned it. In him, his mind, his hopes, drowned, too. As swiftly as the spider.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
But since we’re on the topic of identity and narrative voice - here’s an interesting conundrum. You may know that The Correspondence Artist won a Lambda Award. I love the Lambda Literary Foundation, and I was thrilled to win a Lammy. My book won in the category of “Bisexual Fiction.” The Awards (or nearly all of them) are categorized according to the sexual identity of the dominant character in a work of fiction, not the author. I’m not sure if “dominant” is the word they use, but you get the idea. The foregrounded character. In The Correspondence Artist, the narrator is a woman, but you’re never sure about the gender of her lover. You’re also never sure about the lover’s age or ethnicity - these things change too, and pretty dramatically. Also, sometimes when the narrator corresponds with her lover by email, she (the narrator) makes reference to her “hard on.” That is, part of her erotic play with her lover has to do with destabilizing the ways she refers to her own sex (by which I mean both gender and naughty bits). So really, the narrator and her lover are only verifiably “bisexual” in the Freudian sense of the term - that is, it’s unclear if they have sex with people of the same sex, but they each have a complex gender identity that shifts over time. Looking at the various possible categorizations for that book, I think “Bisexual Fiction” was the most appropriate, but better, of course, would have been “Queer Fiction.” Maybe even trans, though surely that would have raised some hackles. So, I just submitted I’m Trying to Reach You for this year’s Lambda Awards and I had to choose a category. Well. As I said, the narrator identifies as a gay man. I guess you’d say the primary erotic relationship is with his boyfriend, Sven. But he has an obsession with a weird middle-aged white lady dancer on YouTube who happens to be me, and ultimately you come to understand that she is involved in an erotic relationship with a lesbian electric guitarist. And this romance isn’t just a titillating spectacle for a voyeuristic narrator: it turns out to be the founding myth of our national poetics! They are Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman! Sorry for all the spoilers. I never mind spoilers because I never read for plot. Maybe the editor (hello Emily) will want to head plot-sensitive readers off at the pass if you publish this paragraph. Anyway, the question then is: does authorial self-referentiality matter? Does the national mythos matter? Is this a work of Bisexual or Lesbian Fiction? Is Walt trans? I ended up submitting the book as Gay (Male) Fiction. The administrator of the prizes also thought this was appropriate, since Gray is the narrator. And Gray is not me, but also not not me, just as Emily Dickinson is not me but also not not me, and Walt Whitman is not my lover but also not not my lover. Again, it’s a really queer book, but the point is kind of to trip you up about what you thought you knew about gender anyway.
Barbara Browning
The way you see the change in a person you've been away from for a long time, where somebody who sees him every day, day in, day out, wouldn't notice because the change is gradual. All up the coast I could see the signs of what the Combine had accomplished since I was last through this country, things like, for example a train stopping at a station and laying a string of full-grown men in mirrored suits and machined hats, laying them like a hatch of identical insects, half-life things coming pht-pht-pht out of the last car, then hooting its electric whistle and moving on down the spoiled land to deposit another hatch. Or things like five thousand houses punched out identical by a machine and strung across the hills outside of town, so fresh from the factory theyre still linked together like sausages, a sign saying NEST IN THE WEST HOMES NO DWN. PAYMENT FOR VETS, a playground down the hill from the houses, behind a checker-wire fence and another sign that read ST. LUKE'S SCHOOL FOR BOYS there were five thousand kids in green corduroy pants and white shirts under green pullover sweaters playing crack-the-whip across an acre of crushed gravel. The line popped and twisted and jerked like a snake, and every crack popped a little kid off the end, sent him rolling up against the fence like a tumbleweed. Every crack. And it was always the same little kid, over and over. All that five thousand kids lived in those five thousand houses, owned by those guys that got off the train. The houses looked so much alike that, time and time again, the kids went home by mistake to different houses and different families. Nobody ever noticed. They ate and went to bed. The only one they noticed was the little kid at the end of the whip. He'd always be so scuffed and bruised that he'd show up out of place wherever he went. He wasn't able to open up and laugh either. It's a hard thing to laugh if you can feel the pressure of those beams coming from every new car that passes, or every new house you pass.
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
I like rainbows. We came back down to the meadow near the steaming terrace and sat in the river, just where one of the bigger hot streams poured into the cold water of the Ferris Fork. It is illegal – not to say suicidal – to bathe in any of the thermal features of the park. But when those features empty into the river, at what is called a hot pot, swimming and soaking are perfectly acceptable. So we were soaking off our long walk, talking about our favorite waterfalls, and discussing rainbows when it occurred to us that the moon was full. There wasn’t a hint of foul weather. And if you had a clear sky and a waterfall facing in just the right direction… Over the course of a couple of days we hked back down the canyon to the Boundary Creek Trail and followed it to Dunanda Falls, which is only about eight miles from the ranger station at the entrance to the park. Dunanda is a 150-foot-high plunge facing generally south, so that in the afternoons reliable rainbows dance over the rocks at its base. It is the archetype of all western waterfalls. Dunenda is an Indian name; in Shoshone it means “straight down,” which is a pretty good description of the plunge. ... …We had to walk three miles back toward the ranger station and our assigned campsite. We planned to set up our tents, eat, hang our food, and walk back to Dunanda Falls in the dark, using headlamps. We could be there by ten or eleven. At that time the full moon would clear the east ridge of the downriver canyon and would be shining directly on the fall. Walking at night is never a happy proposition, and this particular evening stroll involved five stream crossings, mostly on old logs, and took a lot longer than we’d anticipated. Still, we beat the moon to the fall. Most of us took up residence in one or another of the hot pots. Presently the moon, like a floodlight, rose over the canyon rim. The falling water took on a silver tinge, and the rock wall, which had looked gold under the sun, was now a slick black so the contrast of water and rock was incomparably stark. The pools below the lip of the fall were glowing, as from within, with a pale blue light. And then it started at the base of the fall: just a diagonal line in the spray that ran from the lower east to the upper west side of the wall. “It’s going to happen,” I told Kara, who was sitting beside me in one of the hot pots. Where falling water hit the rock at the base of the fall and exploded upward in vapor, the light was very bright. It concentrated itself in a shining ball. The diagonal line was above and slowly began to bend until, in the fullness of time (ten minutes, maybe), it formed a perfectly symmetrical bow, shining silver blue under the moon. The color was vaguely electrical. Kara said she could see colors in the moonbow, and when I looked very hard, I thought I could make out a faint line of reddish orange above, and some deep violet at the bottom. Both colors were very pale, flickering, like bad florescent light. In any case, it was exhilarating, the experience of a lifetime: an entirely perfect moonbow, silver and iridescent, all shining and spectral there at the base of Dunanda Falls. The hot pot itself was a luxury, and I considered myself a pretty swell fellow, doing all this for the sanity of city dwellers, who need such things more than anyone else. I even thought of naming the moonbow: Cahill’s Luminescence. Something like that. Otherwise, someone else might take credit for it.
Tim Cahill (Lost in My Own Backyard: A Walk in Yellowstone National Park)
She had several books she'd been wanting to read, but instead she sprawled out on the couch surrounded by pillows and blankets, and spent the hours flipping channels between Judge Judy, The People's Court, Maury, and Jerry Springer, and rounded out her afternoon with Dr. Phil and Oprah. All in all, it was a complete waste of a day. At least until school got out. Jay showed up after school with a bouquet of flowers and an armful of DVDs, although Violet couldn't have card less about either...he was all she wanted. She couldn't help the electric thrill of excitement she felt when he came strolling in, grinning at her foolishly as if he hadn't seen her in weeks rather than hours. He scooped her up from the couch and dropped her onto his lap as he sat down where she had been just a moment before. He was careful to arrange her ankle on a neatly stacked pile of pillows beside him. He stubbornly refused to hide his affection for her, and if Violet hadn't known better she would have sworn that he was going out of his way to make her self-conscious in her own home. Fortunately her parents were giving them some space for the time being, and they were left by themselves most of the time. "Did you miss me?" he asked arrogantly as he gently brushed his lips over hers, not bothering to wait for an answer. She smiled while she kissed him back, loving the topsy-turvy feeling that her stomach always got when he was so close to her. She wound her arms around his neck, forgetting that she was in the middle of the family room and not hidden away in the privacy of her bedroom. He pulled away from her, suddenly serious. "You know, we didn't get much time alone yesterday. And I didn't get a chance to tell you..." Violet was mesmerized by the thick timbre of his deep voice. She barely heard his words but rather concentrated on the fluid masculinity of his tone. "I feel like I've waited too long to finally have you, and then yesterday...when..." He stopped, seemingly at a loss, and then he tried another approach. His hand stroked her cheek, igniting a response from deep within her. "I can't imagine living without you," he said, tenderly kissing her forehead, his warm breath fanning her brow. He paused thoughtfully for a moment before speaking again. "I love you, Violet. More than I ever could have imagined. And I don't want to lose you...I can't lose you." It was her turn to look arrogant as she glanced up at him. "I know," she stated smugly, shrugging her shoulder. He shoved her playfully but held on to her tightly so that she never really went anywhere. "What do you mean, 'I know'? What kind of response is that?" His righteous indignation bordered on comical. He pulled her down into his arms so that his face was directly above hers. "Say it!" he commanded. She shook her head, pretending not to understand him. "What? What do you want me to say?" But then she giggled and ruined her baffled façade. He teased her with his mouth, leaning down to kiss her and then pulling away before his lips ever reached hers. He nuzzled her neck tantalizingly, only to stop once she responded. She wrapped her arms around his neck, trying to pull him closer, frustrated by his mocking ambush of her senses. "Say it," he whispered, his breath warm against her neck. She groaned, wanting him to put her out of her misery. "I love you too," she rasped as she clung to him. "I love you so much..." His mouth moved to cover hers in an exhausting kiss that left them broth breathless and craving more than they could have. Violet collapsed into his arms, gathering her wits and hoping that no one walked in on them anytime soon.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
The former South African archbishop Desmond Tutu used to famously say, “We are prisoners of hope.” Such a statement might be taken as merely rhetorical or even eccentric if you hadn’t seen Bishop Tutu stare down the notorious South African Security Police when they broke into the Cathedral of St. George’s during his sermon at an ecumenical service. I was there and have preached about the dramatic story of his response more times than I can count. The incident taught me more about the power of hope than any other moment of my life. Desmond Tutu stopped preaching and just looked at the intruders as they lined the walls of his cathedral, wielding writing pads and tape recorders to record whatever he said and thereby threatening him with consequences for any bold prophetic utterances. They had already arrested Tutu and other church leaders just a few weeks before and kept them in jail for several days to make both a statement and a point: Religious leaders who take on leadership roles in the struggle against apartheid will be treated like any other opponents of the Pretoria regime. After meeting their eyes with his in a steely gaze, the church leader acknowledged their power (“You are powerful, very powerful”) but reminded them that he served a higher power greater than their political authority (“But I serve a God who cannot be mocked!”). Then, in the most extraordinary challenge to political tyranny I have ever witnessed, Archbishop Desmond Tutu told the representatives of South African apartheid, “Since you have already lost, I invite you today to come and join the winning side!” He said it with a smile on his face and enticing warmth in his invitation, but with a clarity and a boldness that took everyone’s breath away. The congregation’s response was electric. The crowd was literally transformed by the bishop’s challenge to power. From a cowering fear of the heavily armed security forces that surrounded the cathedral and greatly outnumbered the band of worshipers, we literally leaped to our feet, shouted the praises of God and began…dancing. (What is it about dancing that enacts and embodies the spirit of hope?) We danced out of the cathedral to meet the awaiting police and military forces of apartheid who hardly expected a confrontation with dancing worshipers. Not knowing what else to do, they backed up to provide the space for the people of faith to dance for freedom in the streets of South Africa.
Jim Wallis (God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It)
Look, I’m sorry, Jemma. It took me forever to get there, what with all the flooding and everything. And then I was trying to clean stuff up and…well, I guess the time just got away from me.” I try to pull away, but he tightens his grip. “I didn’t mean to scare you,” he says. “Well, you did scare me.” I manage to pull one hand loose, and I use it to whack him in the chest. “Idiot!” “I’m fine, okay? I’m here.” “I wish you weren’t!” I yell, fired up now. “I wish you were lying in a ditch somewhere!” I stumble backward, my heel catching on the porch’s floorboards. “You don’t mean that,” Ryder says, sounding hurt. He’s right; I don’t. But I don’t care if I hurt his feelings. I’m too angry to care. Angry and relieved and pissed off and…and, God, I’m so glad he’s okay. I thump his chest one more time in frustration, and then somehow my lips are on his--hungry and demanding and punishing all at once. I hear him gasp in surprise. His mouth is hot, feverish even, as he kisses me back. The ground seems to tilt beneath my feet. I stagger back toward the door, dragging him with me without breaking the kiss. Ryder’s tongue slips between my lips, skimming over my teeth before plunging inside. And… Oh. My. God. No one’s ever kissed me like this. No one. His hands and his tongue and his scent and his body are pressed against mine…It’s making me light-headed, dizzy. Electricity seems to skitter across my skin, raising gooseflesh in its wake. I cling to him, grabbing fistfuls of his T-shirt as he kisses me harder, deeper. I was meant to do this, I realize. I was made to kiss Ryder Marsden. Everything about it is right, like the last piece of a puzzle falling into place. Somehow, we manage to open the front door and stumble blindly inside, past the mudroom, where we shed our boots and jackets. We pause right there in the front hall, our hands seemingly everywhere at once. I tug at his T-shirt, wanting it off, wanting to feel his skin against my fingertips. His hands skim up my sides beneath my tank top, to the edges of my bra. Shivers rack my entire body, making my knees go weak. Thank God for the wall behind me, because that’s pretty much all that’s holding me up right now. With a groan, he abandons my mouth to trail his lips down my neck, to my shoulders, across my collarbone to the hollow between my breasts. I tangle my fingers in the hair at the nape of his neck, clutching him to me--thinking that I should make him stop, terrified that he will. This is insane. I’m insane. But you know what? That’s just fine with me. Because right now, “sane” seems way overrated.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
O my body! I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women, nor the likes of the parts of you, I believe the likes of you are to stand or fall with the likes of the soul, (and that they are the soul,) I believe the likes of you shall stand or fall with my poems, and that they are my poems, Man’s, woman’s, child’s, youth’s, wife’s, husband’s, mother’s, father’s, young man’s, young woman’s poems, Head, neck, hair, ears, drop and tympan of the ears, Eyes, eye-fringes, iris of the eye, eyebrows, and the waking or sleeping of the lids, Mouth, tongue, lips, teeth, roof of the mouth, jaws, and the jaw-hinges, Nose, nostrils of the nose, and the partition, Cheeks, temples, forehead, chin, throat, back of the neck, neck-slue, Strong shoulders, manly beard, scapula, hind-shoulders, and the ample side-round of the chest, Upper-arm, armpit, elbow-socket, lower-arm, arm-sinews, arm-bones, Wrist and wrist-joints, hand, palm, knuckles, thumb, forefinger, finger-joints, finger-nails, Broad breast-front, curling hair of the breast, breast-bone, breast-side, Ribs, belly, backbone, joints of the backbone, Hips, hip-sockets, hip-strength, inward and outward round, man-balls, man-root, Strong set of thighs, well carrying the trunk above, Leg fibres, knee, knee-pan, upper-leg, under-leg, Ankles, instep, foot-ball, toes, toe-joints, the heel; All attitudes, all the shapeliness, all the belongings of my or your body or of any one’s body, male or female, The lung-sponges, the stomach-sac, the bowels sweet and clean, The brain in its folds inside the skull-frame, Sympathies, heart-valves, palate-valves, sexuality, maternity, Womanhood, and all that is a woman, and the man that comes from woman, The womb, the teats, nipples, breast-milk, tears, laughter, weeping, love-looks, love-perturbations and risings, The voice, articulation, language, whispering, shouting aloud, Food, drink, pulse, digestion, sweat, sleep, walking, swimming, Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and tightening, The continual changes of the flex of the mouth, and around the eyes, The skin, the sunburnt shade, freckles, hair, The curious sympathy one feels when feeling with the hand the naked meat of the body, The circling rivers the breath, and breathing it in and out, The beauty of the waist, and thence of the hips, and thence downward toward the knees, The thin red jellies within you or within me, the bones and the marrow in the bones, The exquisite realization of health; O I say these are not the parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul, O I say now these are the soul!
Walt Whitman (I Sing the Body Electric)
Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs. Kitchen units will be devised that will prepare ‘automeals,’ heating water and converting it to coffee; toasting bread; frying, poaching or scrambling eggs, grilling bacon, and so on. Breakfasts will be ‘ordered’ the night before to be ready by a specified hour the next morning. Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone. The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books. Synchronous satellites, hovering in space will make it possible for you to direct-dial any spot on earth, including the weather stations in Antarctica. [M]en will continue to withdraw from nature in order to create an environment that will suit them better. By 2014, electroluminescent panels will be in common use. Ceilings and walls will glow softly, and in a variety of colors that will change at the touch of a push button. Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords, of course, for they will be powered by long- lived batteries running on radioisotopes. “[H]ighways … in the more advanced sections of the world will have passed their peak in 2014; there will be increasing emphasis on transportation that makes the least possible contact with the surface. There will be aircraft, of course, but even ground travel will increasingly take to the air a foot or two off the ground. [V]ehicles with ‘Robot-brains’ … can be set for particular destinations … that will then proceed there without interference by the slow reflexes of a human driver. [W]all screens will have replaced the ordinary set; but transparent cubes will be making their appearance in which three-dimensional viewing will be possible. [T]he world population will be 6,500,000,000 and the population of the United States will be 350,000,000. All earth will be a single choked Manhattan by A.D. 2450 and society will collapse long before that! There will, therefore, be a worldwide propaganda drive in favor of birth control by rational and humane methods and, by 2014, it will undoubtedly have taken serious effect. Ordinary agriculture will keep up with great difficulty and there will be ‘farms’ turning to the more efficient micro-organisms. Processed yeast and algae products will be available in a variety of flavors. The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being. Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders. Schools will have to be oriented in this direction…. All the high-school students will be taught the fundamentals of computer technology will become proficient in binary arithmetic and will be trained to perfection in the use of the computer languages that will have developed out of those like the contemporary “Fortran". [M]ankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom, a disease spreading more widely each year and growing in intensity. This will have serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014. [T]he most glorious single word in the vocabulary will have become work! in our a society of enforced leisure.
Isaac Asimov
Are you sure you don't remember? Your mind seems to be working just fine to me." "You know what? Just forget it. Whatever it was, I forgive you. Give me my backpack so I can go back to the office. We're about to get busted anyway, just standing here." "If you really do forgive me, then you wouldn't still be going to the office." He tightens his hold on the strap of my backpack. "Ohmysweetgoodness, Galen, why are we even having this conversation? You don't even know me. What do you care if I change my schedule?" I know I'm being rude. The guy offered to carry my things and walk me to class. And depending on which version of the story I believe, he either asked me out on Monday already, or he did it indirectly a few seconds ago. None of it makes any sense. Why me? Without any effort, I can think of at least ten girls who beat me out in looks, personality, and darker foundation. And Galen could pull any of them. "What, you don't have a question for my question?" I ask after a few seconds. "It just seems silly for you to change your schedule over a disagreement about when the Titanic-" I throw my hands up at him. "Don't you see how weird this is for me?" "I'm trying to, Emma. I really am. But I think you've had a tough couple of weeks, and it's taking a toll on you. You said every time you're around me something bad happens. But you can't really know for sure that's true, unless you spend more time with me. You should at least acknowledge that." Something is wrong with me. Those cafeteria doors must have really worked me over. Otherwise, I wouldn't be pushing Galen away like this. Not with him pleading, not with the way he's leaning toward me, not with the way he smells. "See? You're taking it personally, when there's really nothing personal about it," I whisper. "It's personal to me, Emma. It's true, I don't know you well. But there are some things I do know about you. And I'd like to know more." A glass full of ice water wouldn't cool my cheeks. "The only thing you know about me is that I'm life threatening in flip-flops." That I won't meet his eyes obviously bothers him, because he lifts my chin with the crook of his finger. "That's not all I know," he says. "I know your biggest secret." This time, unlike at the beach, I don't swat his hand away. The electric current in my feet prove that we're really standing so close to each other that our toes touch. "I don't have any secrets," I say, mesmerized." He nods. "I finally figured that out. That you don't actually know about your secret." "You're not making any sense." Or I just can't concentrate because I accidentally looked up at his lips. Maybe he did talk me into swimming... The door to the front office swings open, and Galen grabs my arm and ushers me around the corner. He continues to drag me down the hall, toward world history. "That's it?" I say, exasperated. "You're just going to leave it at that?" He stops us in front of the door. "That depends on you," he says. "Come with me to the beach after school, and I'll tell you." He reaches for the knob, but I grab his hand. "Tell me what? I already told you that I don't have any secrets. And I don't swim." He grins and opens the door. "There's plenty to do at the beach besides swim." Then he pulls me by the hand so close I think he's going to kiss me. Instead, he whispers in my ear, "I'll tell you where your eye color comes from." As I gasp, he puts a gentle hand on the small of my back and propels me into the classroom. Then he ditches me.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I am, reluctantly, a self-confessed carbon chauvinist. Carbon is abundant in the Cosmos. It makes marvelously complex molecules, good for life. I am also a water chauvinist. Water makes an ideal solvent system for organic chemistry to work in and stays liquid over a wide range of temperatures. But sometimes I wonder. Could my fondness for materials have something to do with the fact that I am made chiefly of them? Are we carbon- and water-based because those materials were abundant on the Earth at the time of the origin of life? Could life elsewhere—on Mars, say—be built of different stuff? I am a collection of water, calcium and organic molecules called Carl Sagan. You are a collection of almost identical molecules with a different collective label. But is that all? Is there nothing in here but molecules? Some people find this idea somehow demeaning to human dignity. For myself, I find it elevating that our universe permits the evolution of molecular machines as intricate and subtle as we. But the essence of life is not so much the atoms and simple molecules that make us up as the way in which they are put together. Every now and then we read that the chemicals which constitute the human body cost ninety-seven cents or ten dollars or some such figure; it is a little depressing to find our bodies valued so little. However, these estimates are for human beings reduced to our simplest possible components. We are made mostly of water, which costs almost nothing; the carbon is costed in the form of coal; the calcium in our bones as chalk; the nitrogen in our proteins as air (cheap also); the iron in our blood as rusty nails. If we did not know better, we might be tempted to take all the atoms that make us up, mix them together in a big container and stir. We can do this as much as we want. But in the end all we have is a tedious mixture of atoms. How could we have expected anything else? Harold Morowitz has calculated what it would cost to put together the correct molecular constituents that make up a human being by buying the molecules from chemical supply houses. The answer turns out to be about ten million dollars, which should make us all feel a little better. But even then we could not mix those chemicals together and have a human being emerge from the jar. That is far beyond our capability and will probably be so for a very long period of time. Fortunately, there are other less expensive but still highly reliable methods of making human beings. I think the lifeforms on many worlds will consist, by and large, of the same atoms we have here, perhaps even many of the same basic molecules, such as proteins and nucleic acids—but put together in unfamiliar ways. Perhaps organisms that float in dense planetary atmospheres will be very much like us in their atomic composition, except they might not have bones and therefore not need much calcium. Perhaps elsewhere some solvent other than water is used. Hydrofluoric acid might serve rather well, although there is not a great deal of fluorine in the Cosmos; hydrofluoric acid would do a great deal of damage to the kind of molecules that make us up, but other organic molecules, paraffin waxes, for example, are perfectly stable in its presence. Liquid ammonia would make an even better solvent system, because ammonia is very abundant in the Cosmos. But it is liquid only on worlds much colder than the Earth or Mars. Ammonia is ordinarily a gas on Earth, as water is on Venus. Or perhaps there are living things that do not have a solvent system at all—solid-state life, where there are electrical signals propagating rather than molecules floating about. But these ideas do not
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
I don’t believe in love that never ends,” said Aiden, his whisper clear and distinct. “I don’t believe in being true until death or finding the other half of your soul.” Harvard raised an eyebrow but didn’t comment. Privately, he considered that it might be good that Aiden hadn’t delivered this speech to this guy he apparently liked so much—whom Aiden had never even mentioned to his best friend before now. This speech was not romantic. Once again, Harvard had to wonder if what he’d been assuming was Aiden’s romantic prowess had actually been many guys letting Aiden get away with murder because he was awfully cute. But Aiden sounded upset, and that spoke to an instinct in Harvard natural as breath. He put his arm around Aiden, and drew his best friend close against him, warm skin and soft hair and barely there shirt and all, and tried to make a sound that was more soothing than fraught. “I don’t believe in songs or promises. I don’t believe in hearts or flowers or lightning strikes.” Aiden snatched a breath as though it was his last before drowning. “I never believed in anything but you.” “Aiden,” said Harvard, bewildered and on the verge of distress. He felt as if there was something he wasn’t getting here. Even more urgently, he felt he should cut off Aiden. It had been a mistake to ask. This wasn’t meant for Harvard, but for someone else, and worse than anything, there was pain in Aiden’s voice. That must be stopped now. Aiden kissed him, startling and fierce, and said against Harvard’s mouth, “Shut up. Let me… let me.” Harvard nodded involuntarily, because of the way Aiden had asked, unable to deny Aiden even things Harvard should refuse to give. Aiden’s warm breath was running down into the small shivery space between the fabric of Harvard’s shirt and his skin. It was panic-inducing, feeling all the impulses of Harvard’s body and his heart like wires that were not only crossed but also impossibly tangled. Disentangling them felt potentially deadly. Everything inside him was in electric knots. “I’ll let you do anything you want,” Harvard told him, “but don’t—don’t—” Hurt yourself. Seeing Aiden sad was unbearable. Harvard didn’t know what to do to fix it. The kiss had turned the air between them into dry grass or kindling, a space where there might be smoke or fire at any moment. Aiden was focused on toying with the collar of Harvard’s shirt, Aiden’s brows drawn together in concentration. Aiden’s fingertips glancing against his skin burned. “You’re so warm,” Aiden said. “Nothing else ever was. I only knew goodness existed because you were the best. You’re the best of everything to me.” Harvard made a wretched sound, leaning in to press his forehead against Aiden’s. He’d known Aiden was lonely, that the long line of guys wasn’t just to have fun but tied up in the cold, huge manor where Aiden had spent his whole childhood, in Aiden’s father with his flat shark eyes and sharp shark smile, and in the long line of stepmothers who Aiden’s father chose because he had no use for people with hearts. Harvard had always known Aiden’s father wanted to crush the heart out of Aiden. He’d always worried Aiden’s father would succeed. Aiden said, his voice distant even though he was so close, “I always knew all of you was too much to ask for.” Harvard didn’t know what to say, so he obeyed a wild foolish impulse, turned his face the crucial fraction toward Aiden’s, and kissed him. Aiden sank into the kiss with a faint sweet noise, as though he’d finally heard Harvard’s wordless cry of distress and was answering it with belated reassurance: No, I’ll be all right. We’re not lost. The idea of anyone not loving Aiden back was unimaginable, but it had clearly happened. Harvard couldn’t think of how to say it, so he tried to make the kiss say it. I’m so sorry you were in pain. I never guessed. I’m sorry I can’t fix this, but I would if I could. He didn’t love you, but I do.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Striking Distance (Fence, #1))
Take the famous slogan on the atheist bus in London … “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” … The word that offends against realism here is “enjoy.” I’m sorry—enjoy your life? Enjoy your life? I’m not making some kind of neo-puritan objection to enjoyment. Enjoyment is lovely. Enjoyment is great. The more enjoyment the better. But enjoyment is one emotion … Only sometimes, when you’re being lucky, will you stand in a relationship to what’s happening to you where you’ll gaze at it with warm, approving satisfaction. The rest of the time, you’ll be busy feeling hope, boredom, curiosity, anxiety, irritation, fear, joy, bewilderment, hate, tenderness, despair, relief, exhaustion … This really is a bizarre category error. But not necessarily an innocent one … The implication of the bus slogan is that enjoyment would be your natural state if you weren’t being “worried” by us believer … Take away the malignant threat of God-talk, and you would revert to continuous pleasure, under cloudless skies. What’s so wrong with this, apart from it being total bollocks? … Suppose, as the atheist bus goes by, that you are the fifty-something woman with the Tesco bags, trudging home to find out whether your dementing lover has smeared the walls of the flat with her own shit again. Yesterday when she did it, you hit her, and she mewled till her face was a mess of tears and mucus which you also had to clean up. The only thing that would ease the weight on your heart would be to tell the funniest, sharpest-tongued person you know about it: but that person no longer inhabits the creature who will meet you when you unlock the door. Respite care would help, but nothing will restore your sweetheart, your true love, your darling, your joy. Or suppose you’re that boy in the wheelchair, the one with the spasming corkscrew limbs and the funny-looking head. You’ve never been able to talk, but one of your hands has been enough under your control to tap out messages. Now the electrical storm in your nervous system is spreading there too, and your fingers tap more errors than readable words. Soon your narrow channel to the world will close altogether, and you’ll be left all alone in the hulk of your body. Research into the genetics of your disease may abolish it altogether in later generations, but it won’t rescue you. Or suppose you’re that skanky-looking woman in the doorway, the one with the rat’s nest of dreadlocks. Two days ago you skedaddled from rehab. The first couple of hits were great: your tolerance had gone right down, over two weeks of abstinence and square meals, and the rush of bliss was the way it used to be when you began. But now you’re back in the grind, and the news is trickling through you that you’ve fucked up big time. Always before you’ve had this story you tell yourself about getting clean, but now you see it isn’t true, now you know you haven’t the strength. Social services will be keeping your little boy. And in about half an hour you’ll be giving someone a blowjob for a fiver behind the bus station. Better drugs policy might help, but it won’t ease the need, and the shame over the need, and the need to wipe away the shame. So when the atheist bus comes by, and tells you that there’s probably no God so you should stop worrying and enjoy your life, the slogan is not just bitterly inappropriate in mood. What it means, if it’s true, is that anyone who isn’t enjoying themselves is entirely on their own. The three of you are, for instance; you’re all three locked in your unshareable situations, banged up for good in cells no other human being can enter. What the atheist bus says is: there’s no help coming … But let’s be clear about the emotional logic of the bus’s message. It amounts to a denial of hope or consolation, on any but the most chirpy, squeaky, bubble-gummy reading of the human situation. St Augustine called this kind of thing “cruel optimism” fifteen hundred years ago, and it’s still cruel.
Francis Spufford