Electrical Work Quotes

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Man can never know the loneliness a woman knows. Man lies in the woman's womb only to gather strength, he nourishes himself from this fusion, and then he rises and goes into the world, into his work, into battle, into art. He is not lonely. He is busy. The memory of the swim in amniotic fluid gives him energy, completion. Woman may be busy too, but she feels empty. Sensuality for her is not only a wave of pleasure in which she is bathed, and a charge of electric joy at contact with another. When man lies in her womb, she is fulfilled, each act of love a taking of man within her, an act of birth and rebirth, of child rearing and man bearing. Man lies in her womb and is reborn each time anew with a desire to act, to be. But for woman, the climax is not in the birth, but in the moment man rests inside of her.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner, #1))
Live each day as if it's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at...something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.
David Nicholls (One Day)
It was ironic, really - you want to die because you can't be bothered to go on living - but then you're expected to get all energetic and move furniture and stand on chairs and hoist ropes and do complicated knots and attach things to other things and kick stools from under you and mess around with hot baths and razor blades and extension cords and electrical appliances and weedkiller. Suicide was a complicated, demanding business, often involving visits to hardware shops. And if you've managed to drag yourself from the bed and go down the road to the garden center or the drug store, by then the worst is over. At that point you might as well just go to work.
Marian Keyes (Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married)
Nobody knows much about women, not even Freud, not even women themselves. But it's like electricity: you don't need to know how it works to get a shock on the fingers.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón
And it seems people should not build houses anymore it seems people should stop working and sit in small rooms on second floors under electric lights without shades; it seems there is a lot to forget and a lot not to do and in drugstores, markets, bars, the people are tired, they do not want to move, and I stand there at night and look through this house and the house does not want to be built
Charles Bukowski (Love Is a Dog from Hell)
The supposedly immaterial soul, we now know, can be bisected with a knife, altered by chemicals, started or stopped by electricity, and extinguished by a sharp blow or by insufficient oxygen.
Steven Pinker (How the Mind Works)
- My instructors in science and technology have taught us about how the brain works. It's full of electrical impulses. It's like a computer. If you stimulate one part of the brain with an electrode, it... - They know nothing.
Lois Lowry (The Giver (The Giver, #1))
I've come to the point where I never feel the need to stop and evaluate whether or not I am happy. I'm just 'being', and without question, by default, it works.
Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
When people make a contract with the devil and give him an air-conditioned office to work in, he doesn't go back home easily.
James Lee Burke (In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead (Dave Robicheaux, #6))
How to be a Poet (to remind myself) i Make a place to sit down. Sit down. Be quiet. You must depend upon affection, reading, knowledge, skill—more of each than you have—inspiration work, growing older, patience, for patience joins time to eternity… ii Breathe with unconditional breath the unconditioned air. Shun electric wire. Communicate slowly. Live a three-dimensional life; stay away from screens. Stay away from anything that obscures the place it is in. There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places. iii Accept what comes from silence. Make the best you can of it. Of the little words that come out of the silence, like prayers prayed back to the one who prays, make a poem that does not disturb the silence from which it came.
Wendell Berry (Given)
That is another chamber of my heart that shows no electrical activity - the chamber that used to flicker into life when I saw a film that moved me, or read a book that inspired me, or listened to music that made me want to cry. I closed that chamber myself, for all the usual reasons. And now I seem to have made a pact with some philistine devil: if I don't attempt to re-open it, I will be allowed just enough energy and optimism to get through a working day without wanting to hang myself.
Nick Hornby (How to be good)
Jeevan found himself thinking about how human the city is, how human everything is. We bemoaned the impersonality of the modern world, but that was a lie, it seemed to him; it had never been impersonal at all. There had always been a massive delicate infrastructure of people, all of them working unnoticed around us, and when people stop going to work, the entire operation grinds to a halt. No one delivers fuel to the gas stations or the airports. Cars are stranded. Airplanes cannot fly. Trucks remain at their points of origin. Food never reaches the cities; grocery stores close. Businesses are locked and then looted. No one comes to work at the power plants or the substations, no one removes fallen trees from electrical lines. Jeevan was standing by the window when the lights went out.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
when Whitman wrote, “I sing the body electric” I know what he meant I know what he wanted: to be completely alive every moment in spite of the inevitable. we can’t cheat death but we can make it work so hard that when it does take us it will have known a victory just as perfect as ours
Charles Bukowski
The old man said, ‘You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
With most animals, as with man, the alertness of the senses diminishes after years of work, after domestic habits and progress of culture.
Alexander von Humboldt (Jaguars and Electric Eels (Penguin Great Journeys))
The world of the grotesque is the darkness within us. Well before Freud and Jung shined a light on the workings of the subconscious, this correlation between darkness and our subconscious, these two forms of darkness, was obvious to people. It wasn’t a metaphor, even. If you trace it back further, it wasn’t even a correlation. Until Edison invented the electric light, most of the world was totally covered in darkness. The physical darkness outside and the inner darkness of the soul were mixed together, with no boundary separating the two. They were directly linked. Like this.” Oshima brings his two hands together tightly. "But today things are different. The darkness in the outside world has vanished, but the darkness in our hearts remains, virtually unchanged. Just like an iceberg, what we label the ego or consciousness is, for the most part, sunk in darkness. And that estrangement sometimes creates a deep contradiction or confusion within us.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
In work, it is possible to find commitment, attachment, chemistry, and connection. In fact, it's high time that more people acknowledged the electric pull that women can feel for their profession, the exciting heat of ambition and frisson of success.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
I have a secret. A big, fat, hairy secret. And I’m not talking minor-league stuff, like I once let Joseph Applebaum feel me up behind the seventh-grade stairwell or I got a Brazilian wax after work last Friday or I’m hiding a neon blue vibrator called the Electric Slide in my night table. Which I’m not, by the way. In case you were wondering.
Karen MacInerney (Howling at the Moon (Tales of an Urban Werewolf, #1))
Forget about the scant hours in her brief life when Sylvia Plath was able to produce the works in Ariel. Forget about that tiny bit of time and just remember the days that spanned into years when she could not move, couldn’t think straight, could only lie in wait in a hospital bed, hoping for the relief that electroconvulsive therapy would bring. Don’t think of the striking on-screen picture, the mental movie you create of the pretty young woman being wheeled on the gurney to get her shock treatments, and don’t think of the psychedelic, photonegative image of this sane woman at the moment she receives that bolt of electricity. Think, instead, of the girl herself, of the way she must have felt right then, of the way no amount of great poetry and fascination and fame could make the pain she felt at that moment worth suffering. Remember that when you’re at the point at which you’re doing something as desperate and violent as sticking your head in an oven, it is only because the life that preceded this act felt worse. Think about living in depression from moment to moment, and know it is not worth any of the great art that comes a its by-product.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
Why do you want a letter from me? Why don't you take the trouble to find out for yourselves what Christianity is? You take time to learn technical terms about electricity. Why don't you do as much for theology? Why do you never read the great writings on the subject, but take your information from the secular 'experts' who have picked it up as inaccurately as you? Why don't you learn the facts in this field as honestly as your own field? Why do you accept mildewed old heresies as the language of the church, when any handbook on church history will tell you where they came from? Why do you balk at the doctrine of the Trinity - God the three in One - yet meekly acquiesce when Einstein tells you E=mc2? What makes you suppose that the expression "God ordains" is narrow and bigoted, while your own expression, "Science demands" is taken as an objective statement of fact? You would be ashamed to know as little about internal combustion as you know about Christian beliefs. I admit, you can practice Christianity without knowing much theology, just as you can drive a car without knowing much about internal combustion. But when something breaks down in the car, you go humbly to the man who understands the works; whereas if something goes wrong with religion, you merely throw the works away and tell the theologian he is a liar. Why do you want a letter from me telling you about God? You will never bother to check on it or find out whether I'm giving you personal opinions or Christian doctrines. Don't bother. Go away and do some work and let me get on with mine.
Dorothy L. Sayers
The effort to untangle the human words from the divine seems not only futile to me but also unnecessary, since God works with what is. God uses whatever is usable in a life, both to speak and to act, and those who insist on fireworks in the sky may miss the electricity that sparks the human heart.
Barbara Brown Taylor (Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith)
Then the triumph was swept away by something much stronger and deeper. Something fierce and joyous-and pure. They were clinging together, he was holding her as hard as she was holding him. Electricity seemed to arc between them. Everywhere they touched Kaitlyn could feel the sparks. His hand tangled in her hair, and she was frighteningly moved by the tiny tugs, the little pain it caused as his fingers worked. His lips brushed against hers again and again.
L.J. Smith (Dark Visions (Dark Visions, #1-3))
The trick of it, she told herself, is to be courageous and bold and make a different. Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you. Go out there with your double-first, your passion and your new Smith Carona electric typewriter and work hard at ... something. Change lives through art maybe. Write beautifully. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if at all possible. East sensibly. Stuff like that.
David Nicholls (One Day)
But genius, and even great talent, springs less from seeds of intellect and social refinement superior to those of other people than from the faculty of transforming and transposing them. To heat a liquid with an electric lamp requires not the strongest lamp possible, but one of which the current can cease to illuminate, can be diverted so as to give heat instead of light. To mount the skies it is not necessary to have the most powerful of motors, one must have a motor which, instead of continuing to run along the earth's surface, intersecting with a vertical line the horizontal line which it began by following, is capable of converting its speed into lifting power. Similarly, the men who produce works of genius are not those who live in the most delicate atmosphere, whose conversation is the most brilliant or their culture the most extensive, but those who have had the power, ceasing suddenly to live only for themselves, to transform their personality into a sort of mirror, in such a way that their life, however mediocre it may be socially and even, in a sense, intellectually, is reflected by it, genius consisting in reflecting power and not int he intrinsic quality of the scene reflected.
Marcel Proust (Within a Budding Grove, Part 2)
God left us the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity in the cloud, the oil in the earth. He left the rivers unbridged and the forests unfelled and the cities unbuilt. God gives to man the challenge of raw materials, not the ease of unfinished things. He leaves the pictures unpainted and the music unsung and the problems unsolved, that man might know the joys and glories of creation.
Thomas S. Monson
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)
When we live without listening to the timing of things, when we live and work in twenty-four-hour shifts without rest – we are on war time, mobilized for battle. Yes, we are strong and capable people, we can work without stopping, faster and faster, electric lights making artificial day so the whole machine can labor without ceasing. But remember: No living thing lives like this. There are greater rhythms, seasons and hormonal cycles and sunsets and moonrises and great movements of seas and stars. We are part of the creation story, subject to all its laws and rhythms.
Wayne Muller (Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives)
Let one concentrate all his energies in one single great effort, let him perceive a single truth, even though he be consumed by the sacred fire, then millions of less gifted men can easily follow. Therefore it is not as much quantity as quality of work which determines the magnitude of the progress.
Nikola Tesla (On Electricity)
Live each day as if it’s your last’, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn’t practical. The trick of it, she told herself, is to be courageous and bold and make a difference. Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you. Go out there with your double-first, your passion and your new Smith Corona electric typewriter and work hard at … something. Change lives through art maybe. Write beautifully. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if at all possible.
David Nicholls
Silence. It flashed from the woodwork and the walls; it smote him with an awful, total power, as if generated by a vast mill. It rose from the floor, up out of the tattered gray wall-to-wall carpeting. It unleashed itself from the broken and semi-broken appliances in the kitchen, the dead machines which hadn’t worked in all the time Isidore had lived here. From the useless pole lamp in the living room it oozed out, meshing with the empty and wordless descent of itself from the fly-specked ceiling. It managed in fact to emerge from every object within his range of vision, as if it—the silence—meant to supplant all things tangible. Hence it assailed not only his ears but his eyes; as he stood by the inert TV set he experienced the silence as visible and, in its own way, alive. Alive! He had often felt its austere approach before; when it came it burst in without subtlety, evidently unable to wait. The silence of the world could not rein back its greed. Not any longer. Not when it had virtually won.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner, #1))
Every time I create something, whether an idea or a work of art, initially, its supposed completion seems absolutely perfect to me. However the more I think about it, stare it down, the more it marinates in my soul over the hours, days, and weeks, the more flaws I start to find in it; and finally, the more I'm pressed to continue enhancing it. It essentially turns out that whatever thing a flawed and imperfect, human eye once thought was amazing begins to appear quite wretched. This is why, eternally, God cannot be impressed by mere talents or by mortal achievements. To perfect eyes, I imagine that great is not really that great; rather, humility is ultimately a human being's true greatness.
Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
Just wish it. But remember, it will only work if it's what you most desire. Do it now. We're running out of time." WHAT I MOST DESIRE. WHAT I MOST DESIRE. I looked into his electric eyes and made my wish. Then I popped the bean into my mouth and swallowed it whole. For a moment, the world stood still. We sat in a silent bubble, just us two, insulated from the snow and the wind. His eyes widened. "But, Katrina, that wish was supposed to be for you." "It's what I most desire." And it was.
Suzanne Selfors (Coffeehouse Angel)
We're not as free and independent as we thought. Street-level work that disrupts the infrastructure (the sewer system below or the electrical grid above) brings our shared dependence into view. People may inhabit very different worlds even in the same city, according to their wealth or poverty. Yet we all live in the same physical reality, ultimately, and owe a common debt to the world.
Matthew B. Crawford (Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work)
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)
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)
Simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at...something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.
David Nicholls (One Day)
Even though artists of all kinds claim to put their hearts and souls into their works, it will only confuse you, for example, if you try to discern a painter by his paintings. His masterpiece may be the master because of its iridescence; it may display a hundred different perspectives through his single face.
Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
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))
[Lennie meets Joe - he works out that she was named after John Lennon] I nod. "Mom was a hippie." This is northern Northern California after all - the final frontier of freakerdom. Just in the eleventh grade we have a girl named Electricity, a guy named Magic Bus, and countless flowers: Tulip, Begonia, and Poppy - all parent-given-on-the-birth-certificate names. Tulip is a two-ton bruiser of a guy who would be the star of out football team if we were the kind of school that has optional morning meditation in the gym
Jandy Nelson
I think the most joyous thing in life is to loaf around and watch another bloke do a job of work. Look how popular are the men who dig up London with electric drills. Duke's son, cook's son, son of a hundred kings, people will stand there for hours on end, ear drums splitting. Why? Simply for the pleasure of being idle while watching other people work.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Five Red Herrings (Lord Peter Wimsey, #7))
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)
When people make a contract with the devil and give him an air-conditioned office to work in, he doesn’t go back home easily.
James Lee Burke (In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead (Dave Robicheaux #6))
That night, Ronan didn’t dream. After Gansey and Blue had left the Barns, he leaned against one of the front porch pillars and looked out at his fireflies winking in the chilly darkness. He was so raw and electric that it was hard to believe that he was awake. Normally it took sleep to strip him to this naked energy. But this was not a dream. This was his life, his home, his night. After a few moments, he heard the door ease open behind him and Adam joined him. Silently they looked over the dancing lights in the fields. It was not difficult to see that Adam was working intensely with his own thoughts. Words kept rising up inside Ronan and bursting before they ever escaped. He felt he’d already asked the question; he couldn’t also give the answer. Three deer appeared at the tree line, just at the edge of the porch light’s reach. One of them was the beautiful pale buck, his antlers like branches or roots. He watched them, and they watched him, and then Ronan could not stand it. “Adam?” When Adam kissed him, it was every mile per hour Ronan had ever gone over the speed limit. It was every window-down, goose-bumps-on-skin, teeth-chattering-cold night drive. It was Adam’s ribs under Ronan’s hands and Adam’s mouth on his mouth, again and again and again. It was stubble on lips and Ronan having to stop, to get his breath, to restart his heart. They were both hungry animals, but Adam had been starving for longer. Inside, they pretended they would dream, but they did not. They sprawled on the living room sofa and Adam studied the tattoo that covered Ronan’s back: all the sharp edges that hooked wondrously and fearfully into each other. “Unguibus et rostro,” Adam said. Ronan put Adam’s fingers to his mouth. He was never sleeping again.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
Each day we go to our work in the hope of discovering,—in the hope that some one, no matter who, may find a solution of one of the pending great problems,—and each succeeding day we return to our task with renewed ardor; and even if we are unsuccessful, our work has not been in vain, for in these strivings, in these efforts, we have found hours of untold pleasure, and we have directed our energies to the benefit of mankind.
Nikola Tesla (Experiments with Alternate Currents of High Potential and High Frequency A Lecture Delivered before the Institution of Electrical Engineers, London)
Live each day as if it’s your last’, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn’t practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at … something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever...
David Nicholls (One Day)
Right now thousands of missiles are hidden away, literally out of sight, topped with warheads and ready to go, awaiting the right electrical signal. They are a collective death wish, barely suppressed. Every one of them is an accident waiting to happen, a potential act of mass murder. They are out there, waiting, soulless and mechanical, sustained by our denial - and they work.
Eric Schlosser (Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety)
It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind. [Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787]
John Adams (A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America: Akashic U.S. Presidents Series)
The great Allied campaign to celebrate (or sell) Democracy, etc., was a venture so successful, and, it seemed, so noble, that it suddenly legitimized such propagandists, who, once the war had ended, went right to work massaging or exciting various publics on behalf of entities like General Motors, Procter & Gamble, John D. Rockefeller, General Electric.
Edward L. Bernays (Propaganda)
I’m trying to paint an underwater ocean scene. It’s just not working. My queen angelfish is supposed to have these bright yellow eyes and electric-blue stripes along the edge of her fin. Instead, it looks like I’m trying to paint a fried egg with some blue bacon. Maybe I can pass it off as postmodern.
Susane Colasanti (Something Like Fate)
All perception is the result of electrical impulses in the brain - the world of the individual is tantamount to a highly advanced computer running and analyzing programs in its working memory.
Kevin Michel (Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams)
My mouth blooms like a cut. I've been wronged all year, tedious nights, nothing but rough elbows in them and delicate boxes of Kleenex calling crybaby crybaby, you fool! Before today my body was useless. Now it's tearing at its square corners. It's tearing old Mary's garments off, knot by knot and see - Now it's shot full of these electric bolts. Zing! A resurrection! Once it was a boat, quite wooden and with no business, no salt water under it and in need of some paint. It was no more than a group of boards. But you hoisted her, rigged her. She's been elected. My nerves are turned on. I hear them like musical instruments. Where there was silence the drums, the strings are incurably playing. You did this. Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped into fire.
Anne Sexton (Love Poems)
What in water did Bloom, waterlover, drawer of water, watercarrier, returning to the range, admire? Its universality: its democratic equality and constancy to its nature in seeking its own level: its vastness in the ocean of Mercator's projection: its unplumbed profundity in the Sundam trench of the Pacific exceeding 8000 fathoms: the restlessness of its waves and surface particles visiting in turn all points of its seaboard: the independence of its units: the variability of states of sea: its hydrostatic quiescence in calm: its hydrokinetic turgidity in neap and spring tides: its subsidence after devastation: its sterility in the circumpolar icecaps, arctic and antarctic: its climatic and commercial significance: its preponderance of 3 to 1 over the dry land of the globe: its indisputable hegemony extending in square leagues over all the region below the subequatorial tropic of Capricorn: the multisecular stability of its primeval basin: its luteofulvous bed: its capacity to dissolve and hold in solution all soluble substances including millions of tons of the most precious metals: its slow erosions of peninsulas and islands, its persistent formation of homothetic islands, peninsulas and downwardtending promontories: its alluvial deposits: its weight and volume and density: its imperturbability in lagoons and highland tarns: its gradation of colours in the torrid and temperate and frigid zones: its vehicular ramifications in continental lakecontained streams and confluent oceanflowing rivers with their tributaries and transoceanic currents, gulfstream, north and south equatorial courses: its violence in seaquakes, waterspouts, Artesian wells, eruptions, torrents, eddies, freshets, spates, groundswells, watersheds, waterpartings, geysers, cataracts, whirlpools, maelstroms, inundations, deluges, cloudbursts: its vast circumterrestrial ahorizontal curve: its secrecy in springs and latent humidity, revealed by rhabdomantic or hygrometric instruments and exemplified by the well by the hole in the wall at Ashtown gate, saturation of air, distillation of dew: the simplicity of its composition, two constituent parts of hydrogen with one constituent part of oxygen: its healing virtues: its buoyancy in the waters of the Dead Sea: its persevering penetrativeness in runnels, gullies, inadequate dams, leaks on shipboard: its properties for cleansing, quenching thirst and fire, nourishing vegetation: its infallibility as paradigm and paragon: its metamorphoses as vapour, mist, cloud, rain, sleet, snow, hail: its strength in rigid hydrants: its variety of forms in loughs and bays and gulfs and bights and guts and lagoons and atolls and archipelagos and sounds and fjords and minches and tidal estuaries and arms of sea: its solidity in glaciers, icebergs, icefloes: its docility in working hydraulic millwheels, turbines, dynamos, electric power stations, bleachworks, tanneries, scutchmills: its utility in canals, rivers, if navigable, floating and graving docks: its potentiality derivable from harnessed tides or watercourses falling from level to level: its submarine fauna and flora (anacoustic, photophobe), numerically, if not literally, the inhabitants of the globe: its ubiquity as constituting 90 percent of the human body: the noxiousness of its effluvia in lacustrine marshes, pestilential fens, faded flowerwater, stagnant pools in the waning moon.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
I took ten days off and by 11 o’clock on the first morning I had drunk fourteen cups of coffee, read all the newspapers and the Guardian and then… and then what? By lunchtime I was so bored that I decided to hang a few pictures. So I found a hammer, and later a man came to replaster the bits of wall I had demolished. Then I tried to fix the electric gates, which work only when there’s an omega in the month. So I went down the drive with a spanner, and later another man came to put them back together again. I was just about to start on the Aga, which had broken down on Christmas Eve, as they do, when my wife took me on one side by my earlobe and explained that builders do not, on the whole, spend their spare time writing, so writers should not build on their days off. It’s expensive and it can be dangerous, she said.
Jeremy Clarkson (The World According to Clarkson (World According to Clarkson, #1))
I was born into a town and a family and the town ad my family happened to me. I own none of it. It is everyone's. It is shareware. I like it, I like having been a part of it, I would kill or die to protect those who are part of it, but I don not claim exclusivity. Have it Take it from me. Do with is what you will. Make it useful. This is like making electricity from dirt; it is almost too good to be believed, that we can make beauty from this stuff.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
If there was one overriding element to Faraday's character, it was humility. His 'conviction of deficiency,' as he called it, stemmed in part from his deep religiosity and affected practically every facet of his life. Thus Faraday approached both his science and his everyday conduct unhampered by ego, envy, or negative emotion. In his work, he assumed the inevitability of error and failure; whenever possible, he harnessed these as guides toward further investigation. Faraday adhered to no particular school of scientific thought. Nor did he flinch when a favored hypothesis fell to the rigors of experiment.
Alan W. Hirshfeld (The Electric Life of Michael Faraday)
An aphrodisiac will disappear, delusional, like permanence or wealth - a shimmering, as if love were a ghost - and yet my passion for you seethes and sears without an end. Late April leaves can’t crave caress of dew, sunlight’s sweet splash, more than I pine for your embrace, us turned to one; when harsh reversals scar, the thought of you will salve like summer wind in autumn; deep red blood surging along with mine, staid genes worked hot from your electric charms, as all my moods succumb to your sweet fire, and perfect wit. Now you are all I live for - loving you - in fleeting world of lies, you are the truth.
Lauren Lipton (Mating Rituals of the North American Wasp)
I can't stand THE DEPRESSED. It's like a job, it's the only thing they work hard at. Oh good my depression is very well today. Oh good today I have another mysterious symptom and I will have another one tomorrow. The DEPRESSED are full of hate and bile and when they are not having panic attacks they are writing poems. What do they want their poems to DO? Their depression is the most VITAL thing about them. Their poems are threats. ALWAYS threats. There is no sensation that is keener or more active than their pain. They give nothing back except their depression. It's just another utility. Like electricity and water and gas and democracy. They could not survive without it.
Deborah Levy
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)
Why, human thought is a real element, a real force, darting out like electricity from every man's or woman's mind, injuring or relieving, killing or curing, building fortunes or tearing them down, working for good or ill, every moment, night or day, asleep or awake, carving, moulding and shaping people's faces and making them ugly or agreeable.
Prentice Mulford (Thoughts Are Things)
I understood her hrythm. That feeling of everything inside twisting to the point that if you didn't find a release you'd explode. I craved to grant her peace. I placed my hand over hers. My own heart rested when i rubbed my thumb over her smooth skin. She dropped the pen and grasped hes sleeve in her palm, her constant defense mechanism. No. If she grasped anything, it would me. My thumb worked its way between her fingers and her sleeve and released her death grip on the material. I wrapped my fingers around her fragile hand. Touching Echo felt like home. Her ring figer slid against mime, causing electricity to move through my bloodstream. She moved it again. Only this time the movement was slow, deliberate and the most seductive touch in the world. Everything inside of me ached to touch her more. Beth had been both wrong and right. Echo couldn’t hurt anyone, especially when she seemed so breakable herself. But the need I felt to be the one to keep the world from shattering her only confirmed Beth’s theory. I was falling for her and I was fucked.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Reminiscing in the drizzle of Portland, I notice the ring that’s landed on your finger, a massive insect of glitter, a chandelier shining at the end of a long tunnel. Thirteen years ago, you hid the hurt in your voice under a blanket and said there’s two kinds of women—those you write poems about and those you don’t. It’s true. I never brought you a bouquet of sonnets, or served you haiku in bed. My idea of courtship was tapping Jane’s Addiction lyrics in Morse code on your window at three A.M., whiskey doing push-ups on my breath. But I worked within the confines of my character, cast as the bad boy in your life, the Magellan of your dark side. We don’t have a past so much as a bunch of electricity and liquor, power never put to good use. What we had together makes it sound like a virus, as if we caught one another like colds, and desire was merely a symptom that could be treated with soup and lots of sex. Gliding beside you now, I feel like the Benjamin Franklin of monogamy, as if I invented it, but I’m still not immune to your waterfall scent, still haven’t developed antibodies for your smile. I don’t know how long regret existed before humans stuck a word on it. I don’t know how many paper towels it would take to wipe up the Pacific Ocean, or why the light of a candle being blown out travels faster than the luminescence of one that’s just been lit, but I do know that all our huffing and puffing into each other’s ears—as if the brain was a trick birthday candle—didn’t make the silence any easier to navigate. I’m sorry all the kisses I scrawled on your neck were written in disappearing ink. Sometimes I thought of you so hard one of your legs would pop out of my ear hole, and when I was sleeping, you’d press your face against the porthole of my submarine. I’m sorry this poem has taken thirteen years to reach you. I wish that just once, instead of skidding off the shoulder blade’s precipice and joyriding over flesh, we’d put our hands away like chocolate to be saved for later, and deciphered the calligraphy of each other’s eyelashes, translated a paragraph from the volumes of what couldn’t be said.
Jeffrey McDaniel
General Electric CEO Jack Welch said in Winning: “No vision is worth the paper it’s printed on unless it is communicated constantly and reinforced with rewards.
Eric Schmidt (How Google Works)
Silence. It flashed from the woodwork and the walls; it smote him with an awful, total power, as if generated by a vast mill. It rose from the floor, up out of the tattered gray wall-to-wall carpeting. It unleashed itself from the broken and semi-broken appliances in the kitchen, the dead machines which hadn’t worked in all the time Isidore had lived here. From the useless pole lamp in the living room it oozed out, meshing with the empty and wordless descent of itself from the fly-specked ceiling. It managed in fact to emerge from every object within his range of vision, as if it—the silence—meant to supplant all things tangible.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
A Babylonian in 1750 BCE would have had to labor fifty hours to spend one hour reading his cuneiform tablets by a sesame-oil lamp. In 1800, an Englishman had to toil for six hours to burn a tallow candle for an hour. (Imagine planning your family budget around that—you might settle for darkness.) In 1880, you’d need to work fifteen minutes to burn a kerosene lamp for an hour; in 1950, eight seconds for the same hour from an incandescent bulb; and in 1994, a half-second for the same hour from a compact fluorescent bulb—a 43,000-fold leap in affordability in two centuries. And the progress wasn’t finished: Nordhaus published his article before LED bulbs flooded the market. Soon, cheap, solar-powered LED lamps will transform the lives of the more than one billion people without access to electricity, allowing them to read the news or do their homework without huddling around an oil drum filled with burning garbage.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ITINERANTS, drifters, hobos, restless souls. But now, in the second millennium, a new kind of wandering tribe is emerging. People who never imagined being nomads are hitting the road. They’re giving up traditional houses and apartments to live in what some call “wheel estate”—vans, secondhand RVs, school buses, pickup campers, travel trailers, and plain old sedans. They are driving away from the impossible choices that face what used to be the middle class. Decisions like: Would you rather have food or dental work? Pay your mortgage or your electric bill? Make a car payment or buy medicine? Cover rent or student loans? Purchase warm clothes or gas for your commute? For many the answer seemed radical at first. You can’t give yourself a raise, but what about cutting your biggest expense? Trading a stick-and-brick domicile for life on wheels?
Jessica Bruder (Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century)
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)
The world of the grotesque is the darkness within us. Well before Freud and Jung shined a light on the workings of the subconscious, this correlation between darkness and our subconscious, these two forms of darkness, was obvious to people. It wasn’t a metaphor, even. If you trace it back further, it wasn’t even a correlation. Until Edison invented the electric light, most of the world was totally covered in darkness. The physical darkness outside and the inner darkness of the soul were mixed together, with no boundary separating the two. They were directly linked. Like this.” Oshima brings his two hands together tightly.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
Creative writing is your ability to develop your inner tension, your libido, your supply of energy and electric charge, turning the charge into an image or thought, and wording the thought, thus contributing all the activity of your mind to the immortal culture of humankind and subsequently to your own immortality.
Lara Biyuts (Latent Prints)
There was little work left of a routine, mechanical nature. Men’s minds were too valuable to waste on tasks that a few thousand transistors, some photo-electric cells, and a cubic meter of printed circuits could perform.
Arthur C. Clarke (Childhood's End)
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))
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))
At every new torment which is too hard to bear we feel yet another vein protrude, to unroll its sinuous and deadly length along our temples or beneath our eyes. And thus gradually are formed those terrible ravaged faces, of the old Rembrandt, the old Beethoven, at whom the whole world mocked. And the pockets under the eyes and the wrinkled forehead would not matter much were there not also the suffering of the heart. But since strength of one kind can change into a strength of another kind, since heat which is stored up can become light and the electricity in a flash of lightning can cause a photograph to be taken, since the dull pain in our heart can hoist above itself like a banner the visible permanence of an image for every new grief, let us accept the physical injury which is done to us for the sake of the spiritual knowledge which grief brings; let us submit to the disintegration of our body, since each new fragment which breaks away from it returns in a luminous and significant form to add itself to our work, to complete it at the price of sufferings of which others more richly endowed have no need, to make our work at least more solid as our life crumbles away beneath the corrosive action of our emotions.
Marcel Proust (Time Regained)
The attempts to try to represent the electric field as the motion of some kind of gear wheels, or in terms of lines, or of stresses in some kind of material have used up more effort of physicists than it would have taken simply to get the right answers about electrodynamics. It is interesting that the correct equations for the behavior of light were worked out by MacCullagh in 1839. But people said to him: 'Yes, but there is no real material whose mechanical properties could possibly satisfy those equations, and since light is an oscillation that must vibrate in something, we cannot believe this abstract equation business'.
Richard P. Feynman (The Feynman Lectures on Physics Vol 2)
But had he felt the same crackle of electricity when they'd met? Was it possible for only one person to feel that kind of instant attraction, that almost irresistible pull towards someone else? Surely it had to work two ways, or what was the point of it?
Lulu Taylor (Outrageous Fortune)
It's funny how you take things like electricity for granted. You hit the button that turns everything on and it just comes on. You get used to that and it just works every single time. So what happens when it suddenly doesn't? things very well could get messy.
Robin Burks (Zeus, Inc.)
A change in direction was required. The story you finished was perhaps never the one you began. Yes! He would take charge of his life anew, binding his breaking selves together. Those changes in himself that he sought, he himself would initiate and make them. No more of this miasmic, absent drift. How had he ever persuaded himself that his money-mad burg would rescue him all by itself, this Gotham in which Jokers and Penguins were running riot with no Batman (or even Robin) to frustrate their schemes, this Metropolis built of Kryptonite in which no Superman dared set foot, where wealth was mistaken for riches and the joy of possession for happiness, where people lived such polished lives that the great rough truths of raw existence had been rubbed and buffed away, and in which human souls had wandered so separately for so long that they barely remembered how to touch; this city whose fabled electricity powered the electric fences that were being erected between men and men, and men and women, too? Rome did not fall because her armies weakened but because Romans forgot what being Roman meant. Might this new Rome actually be more provincial than its provinces; might these new Romans have forgotten what and how to value, or had they never known? Were all empires so undeserving, or was this one particularly crass? Was nobody in all this bustling endeavor and material plenitude engaged, any longer, on the deep quarry-work of the mind and heart? O Dream-America, was civilization's quest to end in obesity and trivia, at Roy Rogers and Planet Hollywood, in USA Today and on E!; or in million-dollar-game-show greed or fly-on-the-wall voyeurism; or in the eternal confessional booth of Ricki and Oprah and Jerry, whose guests murdered each other after the show; or in a spurt of gross-out dumb-and-dumber comedies designed for young people who sat in darkness howling their ignorance at the silver screen; or even at the unattainable tables of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Alain Ducasse? What of the search for the hidden keys that unlock the doors of exaltation? Who demolished the City on the Hill and put in its place a row of electric chairs, those dealers in death's democracy, where everyone, the innocent, the mentally deficient, the guilty, could come to die side by side? Who paved Paradise and put up a parking lot? Who settled for George W. Gush's boredom and Al Bore's gush? Who let Charlton Heston out of his cage and then asked why children were getting shot? What, America, of the Grail? O ye Yankee Galahads, ye Hoosier Lancelots, O Parsifals of the stockyards, what of the Table Round? He felt a flood bursting in him and did not hold back. Yes, it had seduced him, America; yes, its brilliance aroused him, and its vast potency too, and he was compromised by this seduction. What he opposed in it he must also attack in himself. It made him want what it promised and eternally withheld. Everyone was an American now, or at least Americanized: Indians, Uzbeks, Japanese, Lilliputians, all. America was the world's playing field, its rule book, umpire, and ball. Even anti-Americanism was Americanism in disguise, conceding, as it did, that America was the only game in town and the matter of America the only business at hand; and so, like everyone, Malik Solanka now walked its high corridors cap in hand, a supplicant at its feast; but that did not mean he could not look it in the eye. Arthur had fallen, Excalibur was lost and dark Mordred was king. Beside him on the throne of Camelot sat the queen, his sister, the witch Morgan le Fay.
Salman Rushdie (Fury)
The trick of it, she told herself, is to be courageous and bold and make a difference. Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you. Go out there with your double-first, your passion and your new Smith Corona electric typewriter and work hard at… something..
David Nicholls (One Day)
My grandmother Rose was a tough woman, so tough she'd built the family home with her own hands while my grandpa worked as a tailor in the market. She'd even built the furnace and molded the bricks herself, which is not an easy job, and even today, not the job of a woman.
William Kamkwamba (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope)
The most convincing proof of the conversion of heat into living force [vis viva] has been derived from my experiments with the electro-magnetic engine, a machine composed of magnets and bars of iron set in motion by an electrical battery. I have proved by actual experiment that, in exact proportion to the force with which this machine works, heat is abstracted from the electrical battery. You see, therefore, that living force may be converted into heat, and that heat may be converted into living force, or its equivalent attraction through space.
James Prescott Joule (The Scientific Papers of James Prescott Joule)
observations. Therefore, the entire archbishop’s residence, from the bedroom to the dining room, was bugged with listening devices. The communists were rather clumsy about it, pretending to show up as random technicians who needed to work on the phone lines or electrical system.
Jason Evert (Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves)
I read about that in introduction to Psychology; that, and the chapter on caged rats who'd give themselves electric shocks for something to do And the one on the pigeons, trained to peck a button that made a grain of corn appear. Three groups of them: the first got one grain per peck, the second one grain every other peck, the third was random. When the man in charge cut off the grain, the first group gave up quite soon, the second group a little later. The third group never gave up. They'd peck themselves to death, rather than quit. Who knew what worked?
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
Ironically, the better we map this process, the harder it becomes to explain conscious feelings. The better we understand the brain, the more redundant the mind seems. If the entire system works by electric signals passing from here to there, why the hell do we also need to feel fear?
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
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)
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)
Well, what we called a computer in 1977 was really a kind of electric abacus, but…” “Oh, now, don’t underestimate the abacus,” said Reg. “In skilled hands it’s a very sophisticated calculating device. Furthermore it requires no power, can be made with any materials you have to hand, and never goes bing in the middle of an important piece of work.” “So an electric one would be particularly pointless,” said Richard. “True enough,” conceded Reg.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
But the luxuries of which Snowball had once taught the animals to dream, the stalls with electric light and hot and cold water, and the three-day week, were no longer talked about. Napoleon had denounced such ideas as contrary to the spirit of Animalism. The truest happiness he said, lay in working
George Orwell (Animal Farm and 1984)
Live each day as if it's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at...something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.
David Nicholls (One Day)
Modern elevators are strange and complex entities. The ancient electric winch and “maximum-capacity-eight-persons" jobs bear as much relation to a Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Happy Vertical People Transporter as a packet of mixed nuts does to the entire west wing of the Sirian State Mental Hospital. This is because they operate on the curious principle of “defocused temporal perception.” In other words they have the capacity to see dimly into the immediate future, which enables the elevator to be on the right floor to pick you up even before you knew you wanted it, thus eliminating all the tedious chatting, relaxing and making friends that people were previously forced to do while waiting for elevators. Not unnaturally, many elevators imbued with intelligence and precognition became terribly frustrated with the mindless business of going up and down, up and down, experimented briefly with the notion of going sideways, as a sort of existential protest, demanded participation in the decision-making process and finally took to squatting in basements sulking. An impoverished hitchhiker visiting any planets in the Sirius star system these days can pick up easy money working as a counselor for neurotic elevators.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
In Floral Heights and the other prosperous sections of Zenith, especially in the “young married set,” there were many women who had nothing to do. Though they had few servants, yet with gas stoves, electric ranges and dish-washers and vacuum cleaners, and tiled kitchen walls, their houses were so convenient that they had little housework, and much of their food came from bakeries and delicatessens. They had but two, one, or no children; and despite the myth that the Great War had made work respectable, their husbands objected to their “wasting time and getting a lot of crank ideas” in unpaid social work, and still more to their causing a rumor, by earning money, that they were not adequately supported. They worked perhaps two hours a day, and the rest of the time they ate chocolates, went to the motion-pictures, went window-shopping, went in gossiping twos and threes to card-parties, read magazines, thought timorously of the lovers who never appeared, and accumulated a splendid restlessness which they got rid of by nagging their husbands. The husbands nagged back.
Sinclair Lewis (Babbitt)
I wait, washed, brushed, fed, like a prize pig. Sometime in the eighties they invented pig balls, for pigs who were being fattened in pens. Pig balls were large colored balls; the pigs rolled them around with their snouts. The pig marketers said this improved their muscle tone; the pigs were curious, they liked having something to think about. I read about that in Introduction to Psychology; that, and the chapter on caged rats who'd give themselves electric shocks for something to do. And the one on the pigeons trained to peck a button that made a grain of corn appear. Three groups of them: the first one got one grain per peck, the second one grain every other peck, the third was random. When the man in charge cut off the grain, the first group gave up quite soon, the second group a little later. The third group never gave up. They'd peck themselves to death, rather than quit. Who knew what worked? I wish I had a pig ball.
Margaret Atwood
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)
She began walking again, south towards The Mound. 'Live each day as if it's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at ... something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.
David Nicholls (One Day)
What are you going to do with your life?’ In one way or another it seemed that people had been asking her this forever; teachers, her parents, friends at three in the morning, but the question had never seemed this pressing and still she was no nearer an answer. The future rose up ahead for her, a succession of empty days, each more daunting and unknowable than the one before her. How would she ever fill them all?She began walking again, south towards The Mound. ‘Live each day as if it’s your last’, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn’t practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at… something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved. If you ever get the chance.That was the general theory, even if she hadn’t made a very good start of it
David Nicholls
Another sort of false prayers are our regrets. Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will. Regret calamities, if you can thereby help the sufferer; if not, attend your own work, and already the evil begins to be repaired. Our sympathy is just as base. We come to them who weep foolishly, and sit down and cry for company, instead of imparting to them truth and health in rough electric shocks, putting them once more in communication with their own reason. The secret of fortune is joy in our hands. Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man. For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Self-Reliance)
It remains one of the great inequalities of the world that some children are born light years ahead of others. They may come from more stable homes, from wealthy homes, from homes with cleaners and domestic staff, cooks and tutors. Everything is easier, more streamlined, more conducive to educational and career success. Others will come from one-bedroom huts with no running water and no electricity, little chance of a good education, and little time to do anything besides work. The child born into a rich family will, no doubt, progress at a faster rate and develop the sort of self-assurance that comes from stability. This is the case wherever you’re from; it is as true of communist societies as it is of capitalist ones. I have travelled the world and seen these inequalities. I have witnessed the problems such different starting blocks can bring. But if I’ve learned anything, it is that success is possible, whatever your situation and however your life begins. I hope that this story, my story, will prove inspirational and that it will encourage others to dream big, take a plunge, use whatever resources are available. If a small poor boy fishing for prawns on a lake in Ningbo can do it, then so can you.
JOURNEY TO THE WEST By Biao Wang
It’s important to remember something: California is not a state built on moderation. We invented motion pictures. We made an electric sports car. We’re both the brain (Silicon Valley) and the heart (Hollywood, alas) of this great nation, and meanwhile we grow everyone’s strawberries. We’re open to innovation. We’re open to new ideas. We’re open to odd couples—and to strays from all parts of the world. Look at our last governor: an Austrian body builder and son of a Nazi married to John F. Kennedy’s niece. Anything can happen.
Scott Hutchins (A Working Theory of Love)
As former General Electric CEO Jack Welch said in Winning: “No vision is worth the paper it’s printed on unless it is communicated constantly and reinforced with rewards.”27
Eric Schmidt (How Google Works)
electrical and water supplies, for example, had to be manufactured, transported to the right places and fitted. The artillery pieces, radar equipment, communications equipment and observation equipment all had to be ordered, transported and installed. But what was built and where and the order in which the sites were selected for the construction work was not
Anthony Saunders (Hitler's Atlantic Wall)
Miss Climpson," said Lord Peter, "is a manifestation of the wasteful way in which this country is run. Look at electricity, Look at water-power. Look at the tides. Look at the sun. Millions of power units being given off into space every minute. Thousands of old maids, simply bursting with useful energy, forced by our stupid social system into hydros and hotels and communities and hostels and posts as companions, where their magnificent gossip-powers and units of inquisitiveness are allowed to dissipate themselves or even become harmful to the community, while the ratepayers' money is spent on getting work for which these women are providentially fitted, inefficiently carried out by ill-equipped policemen like you.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey, #3))
To that point I had not realized that in doing something I love, and at which at times I may even excel, I felt something I could only define as akin to an electric volt deep in my core. From where did this power come? Was it the presence--extension or workings or shadow--of something else in me? Or was it something else encouraging me to love through what I love?
Carolyn Weber (Surprised by Oxford)
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)
7 ALL ELECTRIC J. B. STRAUBEL HAS A TWO-INCH-LONG SCAR that cuts across the middle of his left cheek. He earned it in high school, during a chemistry class experiment. Straubel whipped up the wrong concoction of chemicals, and the beaker he was holding exploded, throwing off shards of glass, one of which sliced through his face. The wound lingers as a tinkerer’s badge of honor. It arrived near the end of a childhood full of experimentation with chemicals and machines. Born in Wisconsin, Straubel constructed a large chemistry lab in the basement of his family’s home that included fume hoods and chemicals ordered, borrowed, or pilfered. At thirteen, Straubel found an old golf cart at the dump. He brought it back home and restored it to working
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future)
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
[Immigrants] who come from anywhere there is hunger, unemployment, oppression, and violence and who clandestinely cross the borders of countries that are prosperous, peaceful, and rich in opportunity, are certainly breaking the law, but they are exercising a natural and moral right which no legal norm or regulation should try to eliminate: the right to life, to survival, to escape the infernal existence they are condemned to by barbarous regimes entrenched on half the earth's surface. If ethical considerations had any pervasive effect at all, the women and men who brave the Straits of Gibraltar or the Florida Keys or the electric fences of Tijuana or the docks of Marseilles in search of work, freedom, and a future should be received with open arms.
Mario Vargas Llosa (The Language of Passion: Selected Commentary)
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)
4. Effective innovations start small. They are not grandiose. They try to do one specific thing. It may be to enable a moving vehicle to draw electric power while it runs along rails – the innovation that made possible the electric streetcar. Or it may be as elementary as putting the same number of matches into a matchbox (it used to be fifty), which made possible the automatic filling of matchboxes and gave the Swedish originators of the idea a world monopoly on matches for almost half a century. Grandiose ideas, plans that aim at ‘revolutionizing an industry’, are unlikely to work.
Peter F. Drucker (Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Routledge Classics))
Today the man who has the courage to build himself a house constructs a meeting place for the people who will descend upon him on foot, by car, or by telephone. Employees of the gas, the electric, and the water- works will arrive; agents from life and fire insurance companies; building inspectors, collectors of radio tax; mortgage creditors and rent assessors who tax you for living in your own home.
Ernst Jünger (The Glass Bees)
You big ugly. You too empty. You desert with your nothing nothing nothing. You scorched suntanned. Old too quickly. Acres of suburbs watching the telly. You bore me. Freckle silly children. You nothing much. With your big sea. Beach beach beach. I’ve seen enough already. You dumb dirty city with bar stools. You’re ugly. You silly shopping town. You copy. You too far everywhere. You laugh at me. When I came this woman gave me a box of biscuits. You try to be friendly but you’re not very friendly. You never ask me to your house. You insult me. You don’t know how to be with me. Road road tree tree. I came from crowded and many. I came from rich. You have nothing to offer. You’re poor and spread thin. You big. So what. I’m small. It’s what’s in. You silent on Sunday. Nobody on your streets. You dead at night. You go to sleep too early. You don’t excite me. You scare me with your hopeless. Asleep when you walk. Too hot to think. You big awful. You don’t match me. You burnt out. You too big sky. You make me a dot in the nowhere. You laugh with your big healthy. You want everyone to be the same. You’re dumb. You do like anybody else. You engaged Doreen. You big cow. You average average. Cold day at school playing around at lunchtime. Running around for nothing. You never accept me. For your own. You always ask me where I’m from. You always ask me. You tell me I look strange. Different. You don’t adopt me. You laugh at the way I speak. You think you’re better than me. You don’t like me. You don’t have any interest in another country. Idiot centre of your own self. You think the rest of the world walks around without shoes or electric light. You don’t go anywhere. You stay at home. You like one another. You go crazy on Saturday night. You get drunk. You don’t like me and you don’t like women. You put your arm around men in bars. You’re rough. I can’t speak to you. You burly burly. You’re just silly to me. You big man. Poor with all your money. You ugly furniture. You ugly house. You relaxed in your summer stupor. All year. Never fully awake. Dull at school. Wait for other people to tell you what to do. Follow the leader. Can’t imagine. Workhorse. Thick legs. You go to work in the morning. You shiver on a tram.
Ania Walwicz
There was little work left of a routine, mechanical nature. Men’s minds were too valuable to waste on tasks that a few thousand transistors, some photo-electric cells, and a cubic meter of printed circuits could perform. There were factories that ran for weeks without being visited by a single human being. Men were needed for trouble-shooting, for making decisions, for planning new enterprises. The robots did the rest.
Arthur C. Clarke (Childhood's End)
Liam... You’re the best. You’re handsome, funny, patient with my fits, a fantastic cook. You taught me how to swim.” Ryan bit his lip, eyes focused on the shadowed face in front of him. “Like, if there was a zombie apocalypse, you’d save me and feed me.” He smiled. “I wouldn’t need some loser with a guitar that wouldn’t even work without electricity. I’d need a real man. The kind that runs into a burning building to save me.
K.A. Merikan (Special Needs: The Complete Story)
Thus in South Africa it is very expensive to be poor. It is the poor people who stay furthest from town and therefore have to spend more money on transport to come and work for white people; it is the poor people who use uneconomic and inconvenient fuel like paraffin and coal because of the refusal of the white man to install electricity in black areas; it is the poor people who are governed by many ill-defined restrictive laws and therefore have to spend money on fines for 'technical' offences; it is the poor people who have no hospitals and are therefore exposed to exorbitant charges by private doctors; it is the poor people who use untarred roads, have to walk long distances, and therefore experience the greatest wear and tear on commodities like shoes; it is the poor people who have to pay for their children's books while whites get them free.
Steve Biko (I Write What I Like: Selected Writings)
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
It is possible to regulate watercourses over any given distance without embankment works; to transport timber and other materials, even when heavier than water, for example ore, stones, etc., down the centre of such water-courses; to raise the height of the watertable in the surrounding countryside and to endow the water with all those elements necessary for the prevailing vegetation." "Furthermore it is possible in this way to render timber and other such materials non-inflammable and rot resistant; to produce drinking and spa-water for man, beast and soil of any desired composition and performance artificially, but in the way that it occurs in Nature; to raise water in a vertical pipe without pumping devices; to produce any amount of electricity and radiant energy almost without cost; to raise soil quality and to heal tuberculosis, cancer and a variety of physical disorders.
Viktor Schauberger
I can't stand THE DEPRESSED. It's like a job. It's the only thing they work hard at. Oh good my depression is very well today. Oh good today I have another mysterious symptom and I will have another one tomorrow. The DEPRESSED are full of hate and bile and when they are not having panic attacks they are writing poems. What do they want their poems to DO? Their depression in the most VITAL thing about them. Their poems are threats. ALWAYS threats. There is no sensation keener or more active than their pain. They give nothing back except their depression. It's just another utility. Like electricity and water and gas and democracy. They could not survive without it.
Deborah Levy (Swimming Home)
I'm sorry," she whispers. "You're sorry? You've been dating Toph for the last month,and you're sorry?" "It just happened.I meant to tell you, I wanted to tell you-" "But you lost control over your mouth? Because it's easy,Bridge. Talking is easy. Look at me! I'm talking right-" "You know it wasn't that easy! I didn't mean for it to happen,it just did-" "Oh,you didn't mean to wreck my life? It just 'happened'?" Bridge stands up from behind her drums. It's impossible,but she's taller than me now. "What do you mean,wreck your life?" "Don't play dumb,you know exactly what I mean. How could you do this to me?" "Do what? It's not like you were dating!" I scream in frustration. "We certainly won't be now!" She sneers. "It's kind of hard to date someone who's not interested in you." "LIAR!" "What,you ditch us for Paris and expect us to put our lives on hold for you?" My jaw drops. "I didn't ditch you. They sent me away." "Ooo,yeah.To Paris.Meanwhile,I'm stuck here in Shitlanta, Georgia, at the same shitty school,doing shitty babysitting jobs-" "If babysitting my brother is so shitty, why do you do it?" "I didn't meant-" "Because you want to turn him against me, too? Well.Congratulations, Bridge. It worked. My brother loves you and hates me. So you're welcome to move in when I leave again,because that's what you want, right? My life?" She shakes with fury. "Go to hell." "Take my life.You can have it. Just watch out for the part where my BEST FRIEND SCREWS ME OVER!" I knock over a cymbal stand,and the brass hits the stage with an earsplitting crash that reverberates through the bowling alley. Matt calls my name.Has he been calling it this entire time? He grabs my arm and leads me around the electrical cords and plugs and onto the floor and away,away,away. Everyone in the bowling alley is staring at me.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Twenty million people are underfed but literally everyone in England has access to a radio. What we have lost in food we have gained in electricity. Whole sections of the working class who have been plundered of all they really need are being compensated, in part, by cheap luxuries which mitigate the surface of life. Do you consider all this desirable? No, I don't. But it may be that the psychological adjustment which the working class are visibly making is the best they could make in the circumstances. They have neither turned revolutionary nor lost their self-respect; merely they have kept their tempers and settled down to make the best of things on a fish-and-chip standard. The alternative would be God knows what continued agonies of despair; or it might be attempted insurrections which, in a strongly governed country like England, could only lead to futile massacres and a regime of savage repression.
George Orwell (The Road to Wigan Pier)
If you worked for an hour at the average wage of 1800, you could buy yourself ten minutes of artificial light. With kerosene in 1880, the same hour of work would give you three hours of reading at night. Today, you can buy three hundred days of artificial light with an hour of wages. Something extraordinary obviously happened between the days of tallow candles or kerosene lamps and today’s illuminated wonderland. That something was the electric lightbulb.
Steven Johnson (How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World)
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))
For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry. For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him. For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way. For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with his elegant quickness... For when his day's work is done his business more properly begins. For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against adversary. For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin & glaring eyes.
Christopher Smart
He had used drugs and nanonic supplements to compensate at first, then supplements became replacements, with bones exchanged for carbon-fibre struts. Electrical consumption supplanted food intake. The final transition was his skin, replacing the eczema-ridden epidermis with a smooth ochre silicon membrane. Warlow didn’t need a spacesuit to work in the vacuum, he could survive for over three weeks without a power and oxygen recharge. His facial features had become purely cosmetic, a crude mannequin-like caricature of human physiognomy, although there was an inlet valve at the back of his throat for fluid intake. There was no hair, and he certainly didn’t bother with clothes. Sex was something he lost in his fifties.
Peter F. Hamilton (The Reality Dysfunction (Night's Dawn, #1))
A clatter of metal against the concrete made me look back. Liam had moved on from the car to a nearby pile of bikes that were tangled together like brambles. He picked through the frames and spokes and wheels, working carefully, trying to get down to whatever he'd seen under them.... "Do you actually know how to ride?" "Do I know how to ride?" Liam scoffed, leaning over the bike's seat so his face was inches from mine. His pale blue eyes were electric with his excitement; they sent a charge through me, sizzling the rest of the world into peaceful, quiet static. That last bit of distance must have been as unbearable to him as it was to me, because his fingers came down over where my hands rested on the busted leather seat. I felt his touch spread over my skin like late afternoon sunshine. His lips skimmed my cheek, his breath warm against my ear as he said in low, honeyed tones, "Not only can I ride, darlin', but I can give you a few pointers– "Hey, Hell's Angels!" Cole barked. "I didn't bring you in here to shop around for yourselves! Get your assess over here!" Liam expression clouded over as he pulled back, the fluttering excitement vanishing like a candle blown out. with a single breath. I must have looked as disappointed as I felt, letting out a small sound of irritation, because just like that he was smiling again as he tucked a loose strand of hair back over my ear. A softer, smaller smile than before, but one meant for me. It warmed me down to my bones.
Alexandra Bracken (Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2))
I know more about my father than I used to know: I know he wanted to be a pilot in the war but could not, because the work he did was considered essential to the war effort… I know he grew up on a farm in the backwoods of Nova Scotia, where they didn’t have running water or electricity. This is why he can build things and chop things… He did his high school courses by correspondence, sitting at the kitchen table and studying by the light by a kerosene lamp; he put himself through university by working in lumber camps and cleaning out rabbit hutches, and was so poor he lived in a tent in the summers to save money… All this is known, but unimaginable. Also I wish I did not know it. I want my father to be just my father, the way he has always been, not a separate person with an earlier, mythological life of his own. Knowing too much about other people puts you in their power, they have a claim on you, you are forced to understand their reasons for doing things and then you are weakened.
Margaret Atwood (Cat's Eye)
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))
He then expounded a remarkable theory, which had occurred to him while he was playing the clarinet during one of the power cuts that the French electricity board arranges at regular intervals. Electricity, he said, is a matter of science and logic. Classical music is a matter of art and logic. Vous voyez? Already one sees a common factor. And when you listen to the disciplined and logical progression of some of Mozart's work, the conclusion is inescapable: Mozart would have made a formidable electrician.
Peter Mayle (A Year in Provence)
This is the story of an electrically alive young woman on the brink of her adult life. An artist equally attuned to the light as the shadows, with a limitless hunger for experience and knowledge, completely unafraid of life's more frightening opportunities.
Elizabeth Winder (Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953)
How would she fill the days? She had no idea. The trick of it, she told herself, is to be courageous and bold and make a difference. Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you. Go out there with your double first, your passion and your new Smith Corona electric typewriter and work hard at....something. Change lives through art maybe. Write beautifully. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if at all possible. Eat sensibly. Stuff like that.
David Nicholls (Starter for Ten)
There are simply no doctors and nurses left on that continent. It’s an absolute tragedy! African doctors should stay in Africa.” “Why shouldn’t they want to practice where there is regular electricity and regular pay?” Mark asked, his tone flat. Obinze sensed that he did not like Alexa at all. “I’m from Grimsby and I certainly don’t want to work in a district hospital there.” “But it isn’t quite the same thing, is it? We’re speaking of some of the world’s poorest people. The doctors have a responsibility as Africans,” Alexa said. “Life isn’t fair, really. If they have the privilege of that medical degree then it comes with a responsibility to help their people.” “I see. I don’t suppose any of us should have that responsibility for the blighted towns in the north of England?” Mark said. Alexa’s face reddened. In
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
Since it might appear unusual that a bio-psychiatrist should work as an expert in the realm of non-living nature, I believe it will be helpful to give the following summary: My present work began in the realm of psychiatry and psychoanalysis, with natural scientific investigations of the energy at work in human emotions. This led to the discovery of the bio-energy in the living organism, termed organismic orgone energy; and further to the discovery of the same type of a basically physical orgone energy in the atmosphere. Orgonomy is not psychiatry, but the science of biophysics of the emotions, thus also including psychiatry, and physics in the realm of basic cosmic orgone energy. It is not mysticism, but natural scientific, experimental investigation, also of mystical emotions and experiences. Orgone energy is energy before matter (not after matter, as is atomic energy). It is studied by means of Geiger-Müller Counters and other physical instruments. It follows entirely new, hitherto unknown functional laws of nature, and not the well known mechanical laws of electricity, heat, or mechanics.
Wilhelm Reich (Where's The Truth)
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))
Gene Berdichevsky, one of the members of the solar-powered-car team, lit up the second he heard from Straubel. An undergraduate, Berdichevsky volunteered to quit school, work for free, and sweep the floors at Tesla if that’s what it took to get a job. The founders were impressed with his spirit and hired Berdichevsky after one meeting. This left Berdichevsky in the uncomfortable position of calling his Russian immigrant parents, a pair of nuclear submarine engineers, to tell them that he was giving up on Stanford to join an electric car start-up. As employee No. 7, he spent part of the workday in the Menlo Park office and the rest in Straubel’s living room designing three-dimensional models of the car’s powertrain on a computer and building battery pack prototypes in the garage. “Only now do I realize how insane it was,” Berdichevsky said.
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: Inventing the Future)
And so Emma Morley walked home in the evening light, trailing her disappointment behind her. The day was cooling off now, and she shivered as she felt something in the air, an unexpected shudder of anxiety that ran the length of her spine, and was so intense as to make her stop walking for a moment. Fear of the future, she thought. She found herself at the imposing junction of George Street and Hanover Street as all around her people hurried home from work or out to meet friends or lovers, all with a sense of purpose and direction. And here she was, twenty-two and clueless and sloping back to a dingy flat, defeated once again. ‘What are you doing to do with your life?’ In one way or another it seemed that people had been asking her this forever, teachers. her parents, friends at three in the morning, but the question had never seemed this pressing and still she was no nearer an answer. The future rose up ahead of her, a succession of empty days, each more daunting and unknowable than the one before her. How would she ever fill them all? She began walking again, south towards The Mound. ‘Live each day as if it’s your last’, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn’t practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and be courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at…something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.
David Nicholls (One Day)
The unsolved problems of the physical world now seem even more formidable than those solved in the twentieth century. Though in application it works splendidly, we do not even understand the physical meaning of quantum mechanics, much less how it might be united with general relativity. We don't know why the dimensionless constants (ratios of masses of elementary particles, ratios of strength of gravitational to electric forces, fine structure constant, etc.) have the values they do, unless we appeal to the implausible anthropic principle, which seems like a regression to Aristotelian teleology.
Gerald Holton (Physics, the Human Adventure: From Copernicus to Einstein and Beyond)
Then there are those who think their bodies don't exist. They live by mechanical time. They rise at seven o'clock in the morning. They eat their lunch at noon and their supper at six. They arrive at their appointments on time, precisely by the clock. They make love between eight and ten at night. They work forty hours a week, read the Sunday paper on Sunday, play chess on Tuesday nights. When their stomach growls, they look at their watch to see if it is time to eat. When they begin to lose themselves in a concert, they look at the clock above the stage to see when it will be time to go home. They know that the body is not a thing of wild magic, but a collection of chemicals, tissues, and nerve impulses. Thoughts are no more than electrical surges in the brain. Sexual arousal is no more than a flow of chemicals to certain nerve endings. Sadness no more than a bit of acid transfixed in the cerebellum. In short, the body is a machine, subject to the same laws of electricity and mechanics as an electron or clock. As such, the body must be addressed in the language of physics. And if the body speaks, it is the speaking only of so many levers and forces. The body is a thing to be ordered, not obeyed.
Alan Lightman
Mister Geoffrey, my experiment shows that the dynamo and the bulb are both working properly," I said. "So why won't the radio play?" "I don't know," he said. "Try connecting them here." He was pointing toward a socket on the radio labeled "AC," and when I shoved the wires inside, the radio came to life. We shouted with excitement. As I pedaled the bicycle, I could hear the great Billy Kaunda playing his happy music on Radio Two, and that made Geoffrey start to dance. "Keep pedaling," he said. "That's it, just keep pedaling." "Hey, I want to dance, too." "You'll have to wait your turn." Without realizing it, I'd just discovered the difference between alternating and direct current. Of course, I wouldn't know what this meant until much later. After a few minutes of pedaling this upside-down bike by hand, my arm grew tired and the radio slowly died. So I began thinking, "What can do the pedaling for us so Geoffrey and I can dance?
William Kamkwamba (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope)
It was not so much fun. His work became confused with Nicole’s problems; in addition, her income had increased so fast of late that it seemed to belittle his work. Also, for the purpose of her cure, he had for many years pretended to a rigid domesticity from which he was drifting away, and the pretence became more arduous in this effortless immobility, in which he was inevitably subjected to microscopic examination. When Dick could no longer play what he wanted to play on the piano, it was an indication that life was bring refined down to a point. He stayed in the big room a long time, listening to the buzz of the electric clock, listening to time.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tender Is the Night)
Dr. Mary Atwater's story was so inspiring. Growing up, Dr. Atwater had a dream to one day be a teacher. But as a black person in the American South during the 1950s, she didn't have many great educational opportunities. It didn't help that she was also a girl, and a girl who loved science, since many believed that science was a subject only for men. Well, like me, she didn't listen to what others said. And also like me, Dr. Atwater had a father, Mr. John C. Monroe, who believed in her dreams and saved money to send her and her siblings to college. She eventually got a PhD in science education with a concentration in chemistry. She was an associate director at New Mexico State University and then taught physical science and chemistry at Fayetteville State University. She later joined the University of Georgia, where she still works as a science education researcher. Along the way, she began writing science books, never knowing that, many years down the road, one of those books would end up in Wimbe, Malawi, and change my life forever. I'd informed Dr. Atwater that the copy of Using Energy I'd borrowed so many times had been stolen (probably by another student hoping to get the same magic), so that day in Washington, she presented me with my own copy, along with the teacher's edition and a special notebook to record my experiments. "Your story confirms my belief in human beings and their abilities to make the world a better place by using science," she told me. "I'm happy that I lived long enough to see that something I wrote could change someone's life. I'm glad I found you." And for sure, I'm also happy to have found Dr. Atwater.
William Kamkwamba (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope)
My laboratory is a place where I write. I have become proficient at producing a rare species of prose capable of distilling ten years of work by five people into six published pages, written in a language that very few people can read and that no one ever speaks. This writing relates the details of my work with the precision of a laser scalpel, but its streamlined beauty is a type of artifice, a size-zero mannequin designed to showcase the glory of a dress that would be much less perfect on any real person. My papers do not display the footnotes that they have earned, the table of data that required painstaking months to redo when a graduate student quit, sneering on her way out that she didn’t want a life like mine. The paragraph that took five hours to write while riding on a plane, stunned with grief, flying to a funeral that I couldn’t believe was happening. The early draft that my toddler covered in crayon and applesauce while it was still warm from the printer. Although my publications contain meticulous details of the plants that did grow, the runs that went smoothly, and the data that materialized, they perpetrate a disrespectful amnesia against the entire gardens that rotted in fungus and dismay, the electrical signals that refused to stabilize, and the printer ink cartridges that we secured late at night through nefarious means. I
Hope Jahren (Lab Girl)
The old man said, “You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
Ohm found that the results could be summed up in such a simple law that he who runs may read it, and a schoolboy now can predict what a Faraday then could only guess at roughly. By Ohm's discovery a large part of the domain of electricity became annexed by Coulomb's discovery of the law of inverse squares, and completely annexed by Green's investigations. Poisson attacked the difficult problem of induced magnetisation, and his results, though differently expressed, are still the theory, as a most important first approximation. Ampere brought a multitude of phenomena into theory by his investigations of the mechanical forces between conductors supporting currents and magnets. Then there were the remarkable researches of Faraday, the prince of experimentalists, on electrostatics and electrodynamics and the induction of currents. These were rather long in being brought from the crude experimental state to a compact system, expressing the real essence. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Faraday was not a mathematician. It can scarcely be doubted that had he been one, he would have anticipated much later work. He would, for instance, knowing Ampere's theory, by his own results have readily been led to Neumann's theory, and the connected work of Helmholtz and Thomson. But it is perhaps too much to expect a man to be both the prince of experimentalists and a competent mathematician.
Oliver Heaviside (Electromagnetic Theory (Volume 1))
Not if you’ve been where we have. Forty years ago, in Südwest, we were nearly exterminated. There was no reason. Can you understand that? No reason. We couldn’t even find comfort in the Will of God Theory. These were Germans with names and service records, men in blue uniforms who killed clumsily and not without guilt. Search-and-destroy missions, every day. It went on for two years. The orders came down from a human being, a scrupulous butcher named von Trotha. The thumb of mercy never touched his scales.” “We have a word that we whisper, a mantra for times that threaten to be bad. Mba-kayere. You may find it will work for you. Mba-kayere. It means ‘I am passed over.’ To those of us who survived von Trotha, it also means that we have learned to stand outside our history and watch it, without feeling too much. A little schizoid. A sense for the statistics of our being. One reason we grew so close to the Rocket, I think, was this sharp awareness of how contingent, like ourselves, the Aggregat 4 could be—how at the mercy of small things…dust that gets in a timer and breaks electrical contact…a film of grease you can’t even see, oil from the touch of human fingers, left inside a liquid-oxygen valve, flaring up soon as the stuff hits and setting the whole thing off—I’ve seen that happen…rain that swells the bushings in the servos or leaks into a switch: corrosion, a short, a signal grounded out, Brennschluss too soon, and what was alive is only an Aggregat again, an Aggregat of pieces of dead matter, no longer anything that can move, or that has a Destiny with a shape—stop doing that with your eyebrows, Scuffling. I may have gone a bit native out here, that’s all. Stay in the Zone long enough and you’ll start getting ideas about Destiny yourself.
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
Working simultaneously, though seemingly without a conscience, was Dr. Ewen Cameron, whose base was a laboratory in Canada's McGill University, in Montreal. Since his death in 1967, the history of his work for both himself and the CIA has become known. He was interested in 'terminal' experiments and regularly received relatively small stipends (never more than $20,000) from the American CIA order to conduct his work. He explored electroshock in ways that offered such high risk of permanent brain damage that other researchers would not try them. He immersed subjects in sensory deprivation tanks for weeks at a time, though often claiming that they were immersed for only a matter of hours. He seemed to fancy himself a pure scientist, a man who would do anything to learn the outcome. The fact that some people died as a result of his research, while others went insane and still others, including the wife of a member of Canada's Parliament, had psychological problems for many years afterwards, was not a concern to the doctor or those who employed him. What mattered was that by the time Cheryl and Lynn Hersha were placed in the programme, the intelligence community had learned how to use electroshock techniques to control the mind. And so, like her sister, Lynn was strapped to a chair and wired for electric shock. The experience was different for Lynn, though the sexual component remained present to lesser degree...
Cheryl Hersha (Secret Weapons: How Two Sisters Were Brainwashed To Kill For Their Country)
machines again, and radios, and the latest Chevrolet. General Electric flooded the country with luxury gadgets: food processors, toasters, floor-polishing machines, FM radios, electric blankets, and so on. These were all products promoted by that epitome of the television salesman Ronald Reagan, a popular actor whose work in advertising eventually taught him to sell himself, too. Traditional ideals were put on hold and ‘selling out’ became a catchphrase – you accepted a job that gave you no satisfaction because the pay was good. These were the months and years when British singer Vera Lynn touched American hearts with ‘A kiss won’t mean “Goodbye” but “Hello to love”’. Yes, that’s when it started, with that kiss on Times Square.
Geert Mak (In America: Travels with John Steinbeck)
Thereafter he gave up on a career in the arts and filled a succession of unsuitable vacancies and equally unsuitable women, falling in love whenever he took up a new job, and falling out of love - or more correctly being fallen out of love with - every time he moved on. He drove a removal van, falling in love with the first woman whose house he emptied, delivered milk in an electric float, falling in love with the cashier who paid him every Friday night, worked as an assistant to an Italian carpenter who replaced sash windows in Victorian houses and replaced Julian Treslove in the affections of the cashier, managed a shoe department in a famous London store, falling in love with the woman who managed soft furnishings on the floor above.
Howard Jacobson
The human mind is itself a miraculous machine. I am writing right now, but I have no idea how this is happening. I know that my brain is composed of a cerebrum, a cerebellum, and a medulla oblongata, but these are just words. I know that electrical impulses are involved somehow, but that is about the extent of my understanding of the mechanics. And while I at least have an intuition as to how an airplane works, I really have none with respect to my brain. Frankly, lots of what appears on my computer screen is as much a surprise to me as it is to you. I certainly never expected over my oatmeal and English muffin this morning to be writing about Bernoulli's principle today. For that matter, I have no idea why I like English muffins. But I do.
Evan Mandery (Q)
Things were different back then. Today if a woman was asked to do the things we did back then, she would revolt, declare that she wasn’t anyone’s slave, wouldn’t be put upon in that fashion. But you have to remember that this was before automatic washers and dishwashers, before blenders and electric knives. If the carpet was going to get cleaned, someone, usually a woman, would have to take a broom to it, or would have to haul it on her shoulders to the yard and beat the dirt out of it. If the wet clothes were going to get dry, someone had to hang them in the yard, take them down from the yard, heat the iron on the fire, press them, and finally fold or hang them. Food was chopped by hand, fires were stoked by hand, water was carried by hand, anything roasted, toasted, broiled, dried, beaten, pressed, packed, or pickled, was done so by hand. Our version of a laborsaving device was called a spouse. If a man had a woman by his side, he didn’t have to clean and cook for himself. If a woman had a man by her side, she didn’t have to go out, earn a living, then come home and wrestle the house to the ground in the evening.
Susan Lynn Peterson (Clare)
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))
The wires noted how all four Beatles attended Bob Dylan’s Royal Festival Hall appearance, captured by D. A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back documentary. Dylan’s recent Bringing It All Back Home featured a side of electric rock, and this would be his last acoustic-only tour. Convulsed over Dylan’s identity, his British audience parsed every lyric, mistrusting his flirtation with rock ’n’ roll more for its flight from literary pretense than inexplicable lack of explicit social protest. The Beatles’ attendance conferred royal approval of Dylan’s vexing persona, whichever guise it took. With the publication of Lennon’s second book, A Spaniard in the Works, the Dylan rivalry intensified. Spaniard was both hastier than its predecessor and more ambitious, with more wordplay by the pound.
Tim Riley (Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music - The Definitive Life)
These computer simulations try only to duplicate the interactions between the cortex and the thalamus. Huge chunks of the brain are therefore missing. Dr. [Dharmendra] Modha understands the enormity of his project. His ambitious research has allowed him to estimate what it would take to create a working model of the entire human brain, and not just a portion or a pale version of it, complete with all parts of the neocortex and connections to the senses. He envisions using not just a single Blue Gene computer [with over a hundred thousand processors and terabytes of RAM] but thousands of them, which would fill up not just a room but an entire city block. The energy consumption would be so great that you would need a thousand-megawatt nuclear power plant to generate all the electricity. And then, to cool off this monstrous computer so it wouldn't melt, you would need to divert a river and send it through the computer circuits. It is remarkable that a gigantic, city-size computer is required to simulate a piece of human tissue that weighs three pounds, fits inside your skull, raises your body temperature by only a few degrees, uses twenty watts of power, and needs only a few hamburgers to keep it going.
Michio Kaku (The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind)
Ah!' said Michel, tempted, 'you have modern poems?' 'Of course. For instance, Martillac's 'Electric Harmonies,' which won a prize last year from the Academic of Sciences, and Monsieur de Pulfasse's 'Meditations on Oxygen;' and we have the 'Poetic Parallelogram,' and even the 'Decarbonated Odes. . .' Michel couldn't bear hearing another word and found himself outside again, stupefied and overcome. Not even this tiny amount of art had escaped the pernicious influence of the age! Science, Chemistry, Mechanics had invaded the realm of poetry! 'And such things are read,' he murmured as he hurried through the streets, ' perhaps even bought! And signed by the authors and placed on the shelves marked 'Literature.' But not one copy of Balzac, not one work by Victor Hugo! Where can I find such things-where, if not the Library...
Jules Verne (Paris in the Twentieth Century)
Obedience is freedom. Better to follow the Master’s plan than to do what you weren’t wired to do—master yourself. It is true that the thing that you and I most need to be rescued from is us! The greatest danger that we face is the danger that we are to ourselves. Who we think we are is a delusion and what we all tend to want is a disaster. Put together, they lead to only one place—death. If you’re a parent, you see it in your children. It didn’t take long for you to realize that you are parenting a little self-sovereign, who thinks at the deepest level that he needs no authority in his life but himself. Even if he cannot yet walk or speak, he rejects your wisdom and rebels against your authority. He has no idea what is good or bad to eat, but he fights your every effort to put into his mouth something that he has decided he doesn’t want. As he grows, he has little ability to comprehend the danger of the electric wall outlet, but he tries to stick his fingers in it precisely because you have instructed him not to. He wants to exercise complete control over his sleep, diet, and activities. He believes it is his right to rule his life, so he fights your attempts to bring him under submission to your loving authority. Not only does your little one resist your attempts to bring him under your authority, he tries to exercise authority over you. He is quick to tell you what to do and does not fail to let you know when you have done something that he does not like. He celebrates you when you submit to his desires and finds ways to punish you when you fail to submit to his demands. Now, here’s what you have to understand: when you’re at the end of a very long parenting day, when your children seemed to conspire together to be particularly rebellious, and you’re sitting on your bed exhausted and frustrated, you need to remember that you are more like your children than unlike them. We all want to rule our worlds. Each of us has times when we see authority as something that ends freedom rather than gives it. Each of us wants God to sign the bottom of our personal wish list, and if he does, we celebrate his goodness. But if he doesn’t, we begin to wonder if it’s worth following him at all. Like our children, each of us is on a quest to be and to do what we were not designed by our Creator to be or to do. So grace comes to decimate our delusions of self-sufficiency. Grace works to destroy our dangerous hope for autonomy. Grace helps to make us reach out for what we really need and submit to the wisdom of the Giver. Yes, it’s true, grace rescues us from us.
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
How to Be a Poet" (to remind myself) Make a place to sit down. Sit down. Be quiet. You must depend upon affection, reading, knowledge, skill—more of each than you have—inspiration, work, growing older, patience, for patience joins time to eternity. Any readers who like your poems, doubt their judgment. ii Breathe with unconditional breath the unconditioned air. Shun electric wire. Communicate slowly. Live a three-dimensioned life; stay away from screens. Stay away from anything that obscures the place it is in. There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places. iii Accept what comes from silence. Make the best you can of it. Of the little words that come out of the silence, like prayers prayed back to the one who prays, make a poem that does not disturb the silence from which it came.
Wendell Berry
From a very early age Edison became used to doing things for himself, by necessity. His family was poor, and by the age of twelve he had to earn money to help his parents. He sold newspapers on trains, and traveling around his native Michigan for his job, he developed an ardent curiosity about everything he saw. He wanted to know how things worked—machines, gadgets, anything with moving parts. With no schools or teachers in his life, he turned to books, particularly anything he could find on science. He began to conduct his own experiments in the basement of his family home, and he taught himself how to take apart and fix any kind of watch. At the age of fifteen he apprenticed as a telegraph operator, then spent years traveling across the country plying his trade. He had no chance for a formal education, and nobody crossed his path who could serve as a teacher or mentor. And so in lieu of that, in every city he spent time in, he frequented the public library. One book that crossed his path played a decisive role in his life: Michael Faraday’s two-volume Experimental Researches in Electricity. This book became for Edison what The Improvement of the Mind had been for Faraday. It gave him a systematic approach to science and a program for how to educate himself in the field that now obsessed him—electricity. He could follow the experiments laid out by the great Master of the field and absorb as well his philosophical approach to science. For the rest of his life, Faraday would remain his role model. Through books, experiments, and practical experience at various jobs, Edison gave himself a rigorous education that lasted about ten years, up until the time he became an inventor. What made this successful was his relentless desire to learn through whatever crossed his path, as well as his self-discipline. He had developed the habit of overcoming his lack of an organized education by sheer determination and persistence. He worked harder than anyone else. Because he was a consummate outsider and his mind had not been indoctrinated in any school of thought, he brought a fresh perspective to every problem he tackled. He turned his lack of formal direction into an advantage. If you are forced onto this path, you must follow Edison’s example by developing extreme self-reliance. Under these circumstances, you become your own teacher and mentor. You push yourself to learn from every possible source. You read more books than those who have a formal education, developing this into a lifelong habit. As much as possible, you try to apply your knowledge in some form of experiment or practice. You find for yourself second-degree mentors in the form of public figures who can serve as role models. Reading and reflecting on their experiences, you can gain some guidance. You try to make their ideas come to life, internalizing their voice. As someone self-taught, you will maintain a pristine vision, completely distilled through your own experiences—giving you a distinctive power and path to mastery.
Robert Greene (Mastery (The Robert Greene Collection))
You heard me. Let someone else send you to your blaze of glory. You're a speck, man. You're nothing. You're not worth the bullet or the mark on my soul for taking you out." You trying to piss me off again, Patrick?" He removed Campbell Rawson from his shoulder and held him aloft. I tilted my wrist so the cylinder fell into my palm, shrugged. "You're a joke, Gerry. I'm just calling it like I see it." That so?" Absolutely." I met his hard eyes with my own. "And you'll be replaced, just like everything else, in maybe a week, tops. Some other dumb, sick shit will come along and kill some people and he'll be all over the papers, and all over Hard Copy and you'll be yesterday's news. Your fifteen minutes are up, Gerry. And they've passed without impact." They'll remember this," Gerry said. "Believe me." Gerry clamped back on the trigger. When he met my finger, he looked at me and then clamped down so hard that my finger broke. I depressed the trigger on the one-shot and nothing happened. Gerry shrieked louder, and the razor came out of my flesh, then swung back immediately, and I clenched my eyes shut and depressed the trigger frantically three times. And Gerry's hand exploded. And so did mine. The razor hit the ice by my knee as I dropped the one shot and fire roared up the electrical tape and gasoline on Gerry's arm and caught the wisps of Danielle's hair. Gerry threw his head back and opened his mouth wide and bellowed in ecstasy. I grabbed the razor, could barely feel it because the nerves in my hand seemed to have stopped working. I slashed into the electric tape at the end of the shotgun barrel, and Danielle dropped away toward the ice and rolled her head into the frozen sand. My broken finger came back out of the shotgun and Gerry swung the barrels toward my head. The twin shotgun bores arced through the darkness like eyes without mercy or soul, and I raised my head to meet them, and Gerry's wail filled my ears as the fire licked at his neck. Good-bye, I thought. Everyone. It's been nice. Oscar's first two shots entered the back of Gerry's head and exited through the center of his forehead and a third punched into his back. The shotgun jerked upward in Gerry's flaming arm and then the shots came from the front, several at once, and Gerry spun like a marionette and pitched toward the ground. The shotgun boomed twice and punched holes through the ice in front of him as he fell. He landed on his knees and, for a moment, I wasn't sure if he was dead or not. His rusty hair was afire and his head lolled to the left as one eye disappeared in flames but the other shimmered at me through waves of heat, and an amused derision shone in the pupil. Patrick, the eye said through the gathering smoke, you still know nothing. Oscar rose up on the other side of Gerry's corpse, Campbell Rawson clutched tight to his massive chest as it rose and fell with great heaving breaths. The sight of it-something so soft and gentle in the arms of something so thick and mountaineous-made me laugh. Oscar came out of the darkness toward me, stepped around Gerry's burning body, and I felt the waves of heat rise toward me as the circle of gasoline around Gerry caught fire. Burn, I thought. Burn. God help me, but burn. Just after Oscar stepped over the outer edge of the circle, it erupted in yellow flame, and I found myself laughing harder as he looked at it, not remotely impressed. I felt cool lips smack against my ear, and by the time I looked her way, Danielle was already past me, rushing to take her child from Oscar. His huge shadow loomed over me as he approached, and I looked up at him and he held the look for a long moment. How you doing, Patrick?" he said and smiled broadly. And, behind him, Gerry burned on the ice. And everything was so goddamned funny for some reason, even though I knew it wasn't. I knew it wasn't. I did. But I was still laughing when they put me in the ambulance.
Dennis Lehane
She saw the London of the future. Not the vision popular just then: a soaring whirl of machinery in motion, of moving pavements and flying omnibuses; of screaming gramophones and standardized “homes”: a city where Electricity was King and man its soulless slave. But a city of peace, of restful spaces, of leisured men and women; a city of fine streets and pleasant houses, where each could live his own life, learning freedom, individuality; a city of noble schools; of workshops that should be worthy of labour, filled with light and air; smoke and filth driven from the land: science, no longer bound to commercialism, having discovered cleaner forces; a city of gay playgrounds where children should learn laughter; of leafy walks where the creatures of the wood and field should be as welcome guests helping to teach sympathy and kindliness: a city of music, of colour, of gladness.
Jerome K. Jerome (Complete Works of Jerome K. Jerome)
She started shaping the face, using a wire loop to gently carve the slope of the strong forehead and brow, then the nose and the lean angle of the cheekbones. In little time, her fingers were moving on automatic pilot, her mind disengaged and gone into its own flow, her subconscious directly commanding her hands into action. She didn’t know how long she’d been working, but when the hard rap sounded on her apartment door some time later, Tess nearly jumped out of her skin. Sleeping next to her feet on the rug, Harvard woke up with a grunt. “You expecting someone?” she asked quietly as she got up from her stool. God, she must have been really zoned out while she was sculpting, because she’d seriously messed up around the mouth area of the piece. The lips were curled back in some kind of snarl, and the teeth . . . The knock sounded again, followed by a deep voice that went through her like a bolt of electricity. “Tess? Are you there?” Dante. Tess’s eyes flew wide, then squeezed into a wince as she did a quick mental inventory of her appearance. Hair flung up into a careless knot on top of her head, braless in her white thermal Henley and faded red sweats that had more than one dried clay smudge on them. Not exactly fit for company. “Dante?” she asked, stalling for time and just wanting to be sure her ears weren’t playing tricks on her. “Is that you?” “Yeah. Can I come in?” “Um, sure. Just a sec,” she called out, trying to sound casual as she threw a dry work cloth over her sculpture and quickly checked her face in the reflection off one of her putty spatulas. Oh, lovely. She had a slightly crazed, starving-artist look going on. Very glamorous. That’ll teach him to do the pop-in visit, she thought, as she padded over to the door and twisted the dead bolt.
Lara Adrian (Kiss of Crimson (Midnight Breed, #2))
4-19-10 Monday 1:00 P.M. Today the gas was turned off – more panic reactions. I’m wondering if the darkest hour is just before the dawn and all those wonderful cliches. I don’t see anyway out of my current situation, at least any quality of life I’m willing to accept. It’s just too much to think about right now. I lost the gas stove, the heat, and the water heater. Hmm cold showers, but found an electric crock pot and frying pan, and I still have the microwave. I don’t know what I’ll do if I lose the water. My mother told me there’s a family who pitched a tent in the forest preserve. Somehow the father’s still working and keeping his two kids in school, with a little help from a local church. And it’s good to know the forest rangers have a heart and have looked the other way. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that they’ve dropped off some food and supplies. Isn’t that America.
Andrew Neff (The Mind Game Company: The Players)
No physicist started out impatient with common-sense notions, eager to replace them with some mathematical abstraction that could be understood only by rarified theoretical physics. Instead, they began, as we all do, with comfortable, standard, common-sense notions. The trouble is that Nature does not comply. If we no longer insist on our notions of how Nature ought to behave, but instead stand before Nature with an open and receptive mind, we find that common sense often doesn't work. Why not? Because our notions, both hereditary and learned, of how Nature works were forged in the millions of years our ancestors were hunters and gatherers. In this case common sense is a faithless guide because no hunter-gatherer's life ever depended on understanding time-variable electric and magnetic fields. There were no evolutionary penalties for ignorance of Maxwell's equations. In our time it's different.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
We were to write a short essay on one of the works we read in the course and relate it to our lives. I chose the "Allegory of the Cave" in Plato's Republic. I compared my childhood of growing up in a family of migrant workers with the prisoners who were in a dark cave chained to the floor and facing a blank wall. I wrote that, like the captives, my family and other migrant workers were shackled to the fields day after day, seven days a week, week after week, being paid very little and living in tents or old garages that had dirt floors, no indoor plumbing, no electricity. I described how the daily struggle to simply put food on our tables kept us from breaking the shackles, from turning our lives around. I explained that faith and hope for a better life kept us going. I identified with the prisoner who managed to escape and with his sense of obligation to return to the cave and help others break free.
Francisco Jiménez
Electricity," Purva said, rolling the strange new word around in her mouth, giving it at once an Australian and a French inflection. "Sir William was playing around with it when we met, do you remember?" Jack said to Clare. "He was storing charges in boxes." "I remember he was blowing things up," Clare replied. "Six of one..." Jack grinned. "Nobody really knows how it works, but down here it powers most of the lights in the big cities and parts of the automobiles and the stoves in the train kitchen. You can store the power in blocks, then hook it up to anything you might otherwise run on a boiler. It's cooler, and the blocks last longer than coal. I think I can reproduce it when we get home, if I can take enough schematics with me." "He is going to kill himself," Purva said, but her tone was casual, not overly worried. "I'm not going to kill myself," Jack answered, equally casual. "Just because it can cause your heart to stop doesn't mean it always does.
Sam Starbuck (The Dead Isle)
The subject of one experiment is a rat that receives mild electric shocks (roughly equivalent to the static shock you might get from scuffing your foot on a carpet). Over a series of these, the rat develops a prolonged stress-response: its heart rate and glucocorticoid secretion rate go up, for example. For convenience, we can express the long-term consequences by how likely the rat is to get an ulcer, and in this situation, the probability soars. In the next room, a different rat gets the same series of shocks—identical pattern and intensity; its allostatic balance is challenged to exactly the same extent. But this time, whenever the rat gets a shock, it can run over to a bar of wood and gnaw on it. The rat in this situation is far less likely to get an ulcer. You have given it an outlet for frustration. Other types of outlets work as well—let the stressed rat eat something, drink water, or sprint on a running wheel, and it is less likely to develop an ulcer.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
A tall, leggy French girl on her way to work was looking at her phone and almost walked into me as I crossed the street. I dodged her just in time and she glanced back to give me a dirty look. How dare I not realize the importance of her early morning text message. I wondered how humanity managed to work and accomplish things before our time in history; the invention of electricity, the radio and the light bulb; creating the combustion engine and then building roads for people to travel on; creating aircraft so mankind could travel faster between great cities they planned and built; the industrial revolution; NASA landing a man on the moon; the invention of the microwave so single guys could make TV dinners and not starve. How had mankind managed it all without texting each other every five minutes? Or had they been able to accomplish all these things because they didn’t have this frivolous distraction disconnecting them from dreaming and inventing, and human interaction?
Bobby Underwood (The Long Gray Goodbye (Seth Halliday #2))
Mercer,” Rick said. “I am your friend,” the old man said. “But you must go on as if I did not exist. Can you understand that?” He spread empty hands. “No,” Rick said. “I can’t understand that. I need help.” “How can I save you,” the old man said, “if I can’t save myself?” He smiled. “Don’t you see? There is no salvation.” “Then what’s this for?” Rick demanded. “What are you for?” “To show you,” Wilbur Mercer said, “that you aren’t alone. I am here with you and always will be. Go and do your task, even though you know it’s wrong.” “Why?” Rick said. “Why should I do it? I’ll quit my job and emigrate.” The old man said, “You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.” “That’s all you can tell me?” Rick said.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner, #1))
And there, in small warm pools of lamplight, you could see what Leo Auffmann wanted you to see. There sat Saul and Marshall, playing chess at the coffee table. In the dining room Rebecca was laying out the silver. Naomi was cutting paper-doll dresses. Ruth was painting water colors. Joseph was running his electric train. Through the kitchen door, Lena Auffman was sliding a pot roast from the steaming oven. Every hand, every head, every mouth made a big or little motion. You could hear their faraway voices under glass. You could hear someone singing in a high sweet voice. You could smell bread baking, too, and you knew it was real bread that would soon be covered with real butter. Everything was there and it was working. . . . "Sure," he murmured. "There it is." And he watched with now-gentle sorrow and now-quick delight, and at last quiet acceptance as all the bits and pieces of this house mixed, stirred, settled, poised, and ran steadily again. "The Happiness Machine," he said. "The Happiness Machine.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1))
We know of ESB's potential for mind control largely through the work of Jose Delgado. One signal provoked a cat to lick its fur, then continue compulsively licking the floor and bars of its cage. A signal designed to stimulate a portion of a monkey's thalamus, a major midbrain center for integrating muscle movements, triggered a complex action: The monkey walked to one side of the cage, then the other, then climbed to the rear ceiling, then back down. The animal performed this same activity as many times as it was stimulated with the signal, up to sixty times an hour, but not blindly— the creature still was able to avoid obstacles and threats from the dominant male while carrying out the electrical imperative. Another type of signal has made monkeys turn their heads, or smile, no matter what else they were doing, up to twenty thousand times in two weeks. As Delgado concluded, "The animals looked like electronic toys." 
Even instincts and emotions can be changed: In one test a mother giving continuous care to her baby suddenly pushed the infant away whenever the signal was given. Approach-avoidance conditioning can be achieved for any action simply by stimulating the pleasure and pain centers in an animal's or person's limbic system. 
Eventual monitoring of evoked potentials from the EEG, combined with radio-frequency and microwave broadcasts designed to produce specific thoughts or moods, such as compliance and complacency, promises a method of mind control that poses immense danger to all societies —tyranny without terror.
Robert O. Becker (The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life)
During her time at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington she had often become depressed and was hobbled by fatigue. In 1887, when she was twenty, she wrote in her diary, “Tears come without any provocation. Headache all day.” The school’s headmistress and founder, Sarah Porter, offered therapeutic counsel. “Cheer up,” she told Theodate. “Always be happy.” It did not work. The next year, in March 1888, her parents sent her to Philadelphia, to be examined and cared for by Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell, a physician famous for treating patients, mainly women, suffering from neurasthenia, or nervous exhaustion. Mitchell’s solution for Theodate was his then-famous “Rest Cure,” a period of forced inactivity lasting up to two months. “At first, and in some cases for four or five weeks, I do not permit the patient to sit up or to sew or write or read,” Mitchell wrote, in his book Fat and Blood. “The only action allowed is that needed to clean the teeth.” He forbade some patients from rolling over on their own, insisting they do so only with the help of a nurse. “In such cases I arrange to have the bowels and water passed while lying down, and the patient is lifted on to a lounge at bedtime and sponged, and then lifted back again into the newly-made bed.” For stubborn cases, he reserved mild electrical shock, delivered while the patient was in a filled bathtub. His method reflected his own dim view of women. In his book Wear and Tear; or, Hints for the Overworked, he wrote that women “would do far better if the brain were very lightly tasked.
Erik Larson (Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania)
When Dad wasn’t telling us about all the amazing things he had already done, he was telling us about the wondrous things he was going to do. Like build the Glass Castle. All of Dad’s engineering skills and mathematical genius were coming together in one special project: a great big house he was going to build for us in the desert. It would have a glass ceiling and thick glass walls and even a glass staircase. The Glass Castle would have solar cells on the top that would catch the sun’s rays and convert them into electricity for heating and cooling and running all the appliances. It would even have its own water-purification system. Dad had worked out the architecture and the floor plans and most of the mathematical calculations. He carried around the blueprints for the Glass Castle wherever we went, and sometimes he’d pull them out and let us work on the design for our rooms. All we had to do was find gold, Dad said, and we were on the verge of that. Once he finished the Prospector and we struck it rich, he’d start work on our Glass Castle.
Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle)
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
Stanford University’s John Koza, who pioneered genetic programming in 1986, has used genetic algorithms to invent an antenna for NASA, create computer programs for identifying proteins, and invent general purpose electrical controllers. Twenty-three times Koza’s genetic algorithms have independently invented electronic components already patented by humans, simply by targeting the engineering specifications of the finished devices—the “fitness” criteria. For example, Koza’s algorithms invented a voltage-current conversion circuit (a device used for testing electronic equipment) that worked more accurately than the human-invented circuit designed to meet the same specs. Mysteriously, however, no one can describe how it works better—it appears to have redundant and even superfluous parts. But that’s the curious thing about genetic programming (and “evolutionary programming,” the programming family it belongs to). The code is inscrutable. The program “evolves” solutions that computer scientists cannot readily reproduce. What’s more, they can’t understand the process genetic programming followed to achieve a finished solution. A computational tool in which you understand the input and the output but not the underlying procedure is called a “black box” system. And their unknowability is a big downside for any system that uses evolutionary components. Every step toward inscrutability is a step away from accountability, or fond hopes like programming in friendliness toward humans. That doesn’t mean scientists routinely lose control of black box systems. But if cognitive architectures use them in achieving AGI, as they almost certainly will, then layers of unknowability will be at the heart of the system. Unknowability might be an unavoidable consequence of self-aware, self-improving software.
James Barrat (Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era)
Hesitantly, Grandfather, Douglas, and Tom peered through the large windowpane. And there, in the small warm pools of lamplight, you could see what Leo Auffmann wanted you to see. There sat Saul and Marshall, playing chess at the coffee table. In the dining room Rebecca was laying out the silver. Naomi was cutting paper-doll dresses. Ruth was painting water colors. Joseph was running his electric train. Through the kitchen door, Lena Auffmann was sliding a pot roast from the steaming oven. Every hand, every head, every mouth made a big or little motion. You could hear their faraway voices under the glass. You could hear someone singing in a high sweet voice. You could smell bread baking too, and you knew it was real bread that would soon be covered in real butter. Everything was there and it was working. Grandfather, Douglas, and Tom turned to look at Leo Auffmann, who gazed serenely through the window, the pink light on his cheeks. "Sure," he murmured," There it is." And he watched with now-gentle sorrow and now-quick delight, and at last quiet acceptance as all the bits and pieces of this house mixed, stirred, settled, poised, and ran steadily again. "The Happiness Machine," he said. "The Happiness Machine.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1))
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him. The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At one end of it a coloured poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features. Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week. The flat was seven flights up, and Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.
George Orwell
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))
Corporations are forced, by competition and by the fear of predators, to try to turn workers into machine-like production units; to make the hiring of a worker no different from the hiring of an electricity generator. And yet, however hard they try to turn humans into machines and to extract output from their ‘work’ (in the same way as they extract effort from a horse or electricity from a generator), it is an impossible task. The worker cannot discard her innate human quirks, rebelliousness, indeterminateness – not even if she honestly wants to. All the things that make her contribution to production inherently unpredictable are part of who she is.
Yanis Varoufakis (The Global Minotaur)
We have to stop,” Harvard said, abrupt and desperate. “Wait, why?” Aiden murmured, reaching to drag Harvard back when Harvard pulled away, barely seeming to understand the words Harvard had spoken. “I don’t want to. You said you didn’t want to…” He trailed off, hands still grasping Harvard’s shirt, exerting pressure to bring Harvard back where he had been. Aiden’s eyes were heavy-lidded, almost as if he was drowsy, but it was an electric drowsiness. For a terrifying moment, Harvard looked at Aiden and couldn’t remember why they should stop. Then he looked at Aiden and did remember. “I don’t want to, but we have to,” Harvard tried to explain. Aiden looked suddenly wide awake and affronted to be so, like a cat disturbed from his rest. His voice as sharp this time as it had been soft before, he said, “Why?” When Aiden had agreed to help Harvard with practice dating, Harvard remembered vividly the exact words he’d used. I know how dating works. It doesn’t matter, and this wouldn’t even be real dating. It doesn’t mean anything. It won’t change anything. He looked at Aiden, his chest feeling cold and empty, bleak with despair. Harvard was just like all the rest of Aiden’s guys, only worse. He was the one who really knew Aiden, and he should know better. Harvard said, “Because this means nothing.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Fence: Striking Distance)
A poet can take one word - maybe an abstraction, like love or fear or happiness, or an object, something concrete, like a flower or mountain or book - that feels for some reason full of potential energy, unexpressed meaning. The poet then gives herself the space and time and, most important, the freedom from any doctrine to try to allow her mind to leap, for no discernible reason, to another word. then she searches for a way to connect the two. Quite often it doesn't work - there is nothing there. Maybe she tries again, maybe many more times. Sometimes one element will change, or both. Eventually something clicks, an electrical connection is made, a way is found to connect the two things, and the poem begins.
Matthew Zapruder (Why Poetry)
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)
{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.
Ben Lindsey
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)
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))
... the intercessor is not so much like a lamp in the electric circuit as a radio which is both a receiver and transmitter. The receiving aspect is often quite overlooked in the ministry of intercession. Communion with God should surely be a two-way traffic. We speak of prayer as our ‘coming to the mercy seat’, but when God first spoke about this to Moses He said nothing about it as a place where Moses would speak with Him, but rather as a place where He would speak with Moses (Exod. 2 5 : 22). In other words, the mercy seat was to be first a place of revelation, and then a place of intercession. This revelation may indeed be given to the intercessor as he prays, but it will often be necessary to tune in and hear what eaven is saying that he may know how to pray. To learn how to talk to God we must first learn how to listen to God.
Arthur Wallis (Pray in the Spirit: The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Ministry of Prayer)
Suppose you had said to my hypothetical family of 1800, eating their gristly stew in front of a log fire, that in two centuries their descendants would need to fetch no logs or water, and carry out no sewage, because water, gas, and a magic form of invisible power called electricity would come into their home through pipes and wires. They would jump at the chance to have such a home, but they would warily ask ho they could possibly afford it. Suppose that you then told them that to earn such a home, they need only ensure that father and mother both have to go to work for eight hours in an office, travelling roughly forty minutes each way in a horseless carriage, and that the children need not work at all, but should go to school to be sure of getting such jobs when they start to work at twenty. They would be more than dumbfounded; they would be delirious with excitement.
Matt Ridley (The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves)
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: A Novel (Serge Storms))
In conjunction with his colleagues, Frantisek Baluska from the Institute of Cellular and Molecular Botany at the University of Bonn is of the opinion that brain-like structures can be found at root tips. In addition to signaling pathways, there are also numerous systems and molecules similar to those found in animals. When a root feels its way forward in the ground, it is aware of stimuli. The researchers measured electrical signals that led to changes in behavior after they were processed in a "transition zone." If the root encounters toxic substances, impenetrable stones, or saturated soil, it analyzes the situation and transmits the necessary adjustments to the growing tip. The root tip changes direction as a result of this communication and steers the growing root around the critical areas. Right now, the majority of plant researchers are skeptical about whether such behavior points to a repository for intelligence, the faculty of memory, and emotions. Among other things, they get worked up about carrying over findings in similar situations with animals and, at the end of the day, about how this threatens to blur the boundary between plants and animals. And so what? What would be so awful about that? The distinction between plant and animal is, after all, arbitrary and depends on the way an organism feeds itself: the former photosynthesizes and the latter eats other living beings. Finally, the only other big difference is in the amount of time it takes to process information and translate it into action. Does that mean that beings that live life in the slow lane are automatically worth less than ones on the fast track? Sometimes I suspect we would pay more attention to trees and other vegetation if we could establish beyond a doubt just how similar they are in many ways to animals.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World)
Of all the plants, trees have the largest surface area covered in leaves. For every square yard of forest, 27 square yards of leaves and needles blanket the crowns. Part of every rainfall is intercepted in the canopy and immediately evaporates again. In addition, each summer, trees use up to 8,500 cubic yards of water per square mile, which they release into the air through transpiration. This water vapor creates new clouds that travel farther inland to release their rain. As the cycle continues, water reaches even the most remote areas. This water pump works so well that the downpours in some large areas of the world, such as the Amazon basin, are almost as heavy thousands of miles inland as they are on the coast. There are a few requirements for the pump to work: from the ocean to the farthest corner, there must be forest. And, most importantly, the coastal forests are the foundations for this system. If they do not exist, the system falls apart. Scientists credit Anastassia Makarieva from Saint Petersburg in Russia for the discovery of these unbelievably important connections. They studied different forests around the world and everywhere the results were the same. It didn't matter if they were studying a rain forest or the Siberian taiga, it was always the trees that were transferring life-giving moisture into land-locked interiors. Researchers also discovered that the whole process breaks down if coastal forests are cleared. It's a bit like if you were using an electrical pump to distribute water and you pulled the intake pipe out of the pond. The fallout is already apparent in Brazil, where the Amazonian rain forest is steadily drying out. Central Europe is within the 400-mile zone and, therefore, close enough to the intake area. Thankfully, there are still forests here, even if they are greatly diminished.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World)
That night, I took a while falling asleep and when I did, I had a strange dream. She was sitting in my rocking chair and rocking herself, her dead eyes fixed on me. I lay on my bed, paralysed with fear, unable to move, unable to scream, my limbs refusing to move to my command. The room was suddenly freezing cold, the heater had probably stopped working in the night because the electricity supply had been cut and the inverter too had run out. At one point, I was uncertain whether I was dreaming or awake, or in that strange space between dreaming and wakefulness, where the soul wanders out of the body and explores other dimensions. What I knew was that I was chilled to the bones, chilled in a way that made it impossible for me to move myself, to lever myself to a sitting position in order to switch the bedside lamp on and check whether this was really happening. I could hear her in my head. Her voice was faint, feathery, and sibilant, as if she was whispering through a curtain of rain. Her words were indistinct, she called my name, she said words that pierced through my ears, words that meshed into ice slivers in my brain and when I thought finally that I would freeze to death an ice cold tiny body climbed into the quilt with me, putting frigidly chilly arms around me, and whispered, ‘Mother, I’m cold.’ Icicles shot up my spine, and I sat up, bolt upright in my bed, feeling the covers fall from me and a small indent in the mattress where something had been, a moment ago. There was a sudden click, the red light of the heater lit up, the bed and blanket warmer began radiating life-giving heat again and I felt myself thaw out, emerge from the scary limbo which marks one’s descent into another dimension, and the shadow faded out from the rocking chair right in front of me into complete transparency and the icy presence in the bed faded away to nothingness.
Kiran Manral (The Face At the Window)
The Average Occidental- be he a democrat or a Fascist, a Capitalist or a Bolshevik, a manual worker or an intellectual- knows only one positive "religion", and that is the worship of material progress, the belief that there is no other goal in life than to make that very life continually easier or, as the current expression goes, "independent of nature". The temples of this "religion" are the gigantic factories, cinemas, chemical laboratories, dancing halls, hydro- electric works; and its priests are bankers, engineers,film stars, captains of industry, record-airmen. The unavoidable result of this craving after power and pleasure is the creation of hostile groups armed to the teeth and determined to destroy each other whenever their respective interests come to clash. And on the cultural side the result is the creation of a human type whose morality is confined to the question of practical utility alone, and whose highest criterion of good and evil is material progress.
Muhammad Asad (Islam At The Crossroads)
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
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? (Blade Runner, #1))
GRAHAM CRACKER CAKE Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. ½ cup salted butter, softened (1 stick, 4 ounces, ¼ pound) ¾ cup white (granulated) sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 2 and ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs 1 cup whole milk 1 cup chopped nuts (measure after chopping—I used walnuts)   8 and ¾ ounce can crushed pineapple WITH juice ¼ cup white (granulated) sugar Hannah’s Note: You can either crush your own graham cracker crumbs by placing graham crackers in a bag and rolling the bag with a rolling pin, crushing them in the food processor by using the steel blade, or you can buy ready-made graham cracker crumbs at the store. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle the inside with flour. Shake out excess flour. You may also use Pam spray for baking, which contains a coating of flour. Both will work well. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar, adding the sugar gradually with the mixer on MEDIUM speed. Add the vanilla extract and mix it in thoroughly. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, incorporating the first egg before you add the second. Add the baking powder and the salt, beating until they’re thoroughly mixed. Mix in half of the graham cracker crumbs with half of the milk. Beat well. Mix in the other half of the graham cracker crumbs with the remaining half of the milk. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chopped nuts by hand. Pour the Graham Cracker Cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake your cake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Take your cake out of the oven, turn off the oven, and place the cake on a wire rack to await its topping. In a saucepan on the stovetop, combine the contents of the can of crushed pineapple and juice with the white sugar. Cook the pineapple mixture over MEDIUM HIGH heat, stirring constantly until it boils. Turn the burner down to LOW and cook the pineapple mixture for an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour the hot pineapple sauce over the hot cake. Cool in the pan. Serve the Graham Cracker Cake with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Joanne Fluke (Blackberry Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #17))
TICKLED PINK LEMONADE COOKIES   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. Hannah’s 1st Note: This recipe is from Lisa’s Aunt Nancy. It’s a real favorite down at The Cookie Jar because the cookies are different, delicious, and very pretty. ½ cup salted, softened butter (1 stick, 4 ounces, ¼ pound) (do not substitute) ½ cup white (granulated) sugar ½ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon baking soda 1 large egg, beaten cup frozen pink or regular lemonade concentrate, thawed 3 drops of liquid red food coloring (I used ½ teaspoon of Betty Crocker food color gel) 1 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it) In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the softened butter with the sugar until the resulting mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the baking powder and baking soda. Beat until they’re well-combined. Mix in the beaten egg and the lemonade concentrate. Add 3 drops of red food coloring (or ½ teaspoon of the food color gel, if you used that). Add the flour, a half-cup or so at a time, beating after each addition. (You don’t have to be exact—just don’t put in all the flour at once.) If the resulting cookie dough is too sticky to work with, refrigerate it for an hour or so. (Don’t forget to turn off your oven if you do this. You’ll have to preheat it again once you’re ready to bake.) Drop the cookies by teaspoonful, 2 inches apart, on an UNGREASED cookie sheet. Bake the Tickled Pink Lemonade Cookies at 350 degrees F. for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. (Mine took 11 minutes.) Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Then use a metal spatula to remove them to a wire rack to cool completely. FROSTING FOR PINK LEMONADE COOKIES   2 Tablespoons salted butter, softened 2 cups powdered sugar (no need to sift unless it’s got big lumps) 2 teaspoons frozen pink or regular lemonade concentrate, thawed 3 to 4 teaspoons milk (water will also work for a less creamy frosting) 2 drops red food coloring (or enough red food color gel to turn the frosting pink) Beat the butter and the powdered sugar together. Mix in the lemonade concentrate. Beat in the milk, a bit at a time, until the frosting is almost thin enough to spread, but not quite. Mix in the 2 drops of red food coloring. Stir until the color is uniform. If your frosting is too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar. If your frosting is too thick, add a bit more milk or water.
Joanne Fluke (Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery))
Our team’s vision for the facility was a cross between a shooting range and a country club for special forces personnel. Clients would be able to schedule all manner of training courses in advance, and the gear and support personnel would be waiting when they arrived. There’d be seven shooting ranges with high gravel berms to cut down noise and absorb bullets, and we’d carve a grass airstrip, and have a special driving track to practice high-speed chases and real “defensive driving”—the stuff that happens when your convoy is ambushed. There would be a bunkhouse to sleep seventy. And nearby, the main headquarters would have the feel of a hunting lodge, with timber framing and high stone walls, with a large central fireplace where people could gather after a day on the ranges. This was the community I enjoyed; we never intended to send anyone oversees. This chunk of the Tar Heel State was my “Field of Dreams.” I bought thirty-one hundred acres—roughly five square miles of land, plenty of territory to catch even the most wayward bullets—for $900,000. We broke ground in June 1997, and immediately began learning about do-it-yourself entrepreneurship. That land was ugly: Logging the previous year had left a moonscape of tree stumps and tangled roots lorded over by mosquitoes and poisonous creatures. I killed a snake the first twelve times I went to the property. The heat was miserable. While a local construction company carved the shooting ranges and the lake, our small team installed the culverts and forged new roads and planted the Southern pine utility poles to support the electrical wiring. The basic site work was done in about ninety days—and then we had to figure out what to call the place. The leading contender, “Hampton Roads Tactical Shooting Center,” was professional, but pretty uptight. “Tidewater Institute for Tactical Shooting” had legs, but the acronym wouldn’t have helped us much. But then, as we slogged across the property and excavated ditches, an incessant charcoal mud covered our boots and machinery, and we watched as each new hole was swallowed by that relentless peat-stained black water. Blackwater, we agreed, was a name. Meanwhile, within days of being installed, the Southern pine poles had been slashed by massive black bears marking their territory, as the animals had done there since long before the Europeans settled the New World. We were part of this land now, and from that heritage we took our original logo: a bear paw surrounded by the stylized crosshairs of a rifle scope.
Anonymous
Almost immediately after jazz musicians arrived in Paris, they began to gather in two of the city’s most important creative neighborhoods: Montmartre and Montparnasse, respectively the Right and Left Bank haunts of artists, intellectuals, poets, and musicians since the late nineteenth century. Performing in these high-profile and popular entertainment districts could give an advantage to jazz musicians because Parisians and tourists already knew to go there when they wanted to spend a night out on the town. As hubs of artistic imagination and experimentation, Montmartre and Montparnasse therefore attracted the kinds of audiences that might appreciate the new and thrilling sounds of jazz. For many listeners, these locations leant the music something of their own exciting aura, and the early success of jazz in Paris probably had at least as much to do with musicians playing there as did other factors. In spite of their similarities, however, by the 1920s these neighborhoods were on two very different paths, each representing competing visions of what France could become after the war. And the reactions to jazz in each place became important markers of the difference between the two areas and visions. Montmartre was legendary as the late-nineteenth-century capital of “bohemian Paris,” where French artists had gathered and cabaret songs had filled the air. In its heyday, Montmartre was one of the centers of popular entertainment, and its artists prided themselves on flying in the face of respectable middle-class values. But by the 1920s, Montmartre represented an established artistic tradition, not the challenge to bourgeois life that it had been at the fin de siècle. Entertainment culture was rapidly changing both in substance and style in the postwar era, and a desire for new sounds, including foreign music and exotic art, was quickly replacing the love for the cabarets’ French chansons. Jazz was not entirely to blame for such changes, of course. Commercial pressures, especially the rapidly growing tourist trade, eroded the popularity of old Montmartre cabarets, which were not always able to compete with the newer music halls and dance halls. Yet jazz bore much of the criticism from those who saw the changes in Montmartre as the death of French popular entertainment. Montparnasse, on the other hand, was the face of a modern Paris. It was the international crossroads where an ever changing mixture of people celebrated, rather than lamented, cosmopolitanism and exoticism in all its forms, especially in jazz bands. These different attitudes within the entertainment districts and their institutions reflected the impact of the broader trends at work in Paris—the influx of foreign populations, for example, or the advent of cars and electricity on city streets as indicators of modern technology—and the possible consequences for French culture. Jazz was at the confluence of these trends, and it became a convenient symbol for the struggle they represented.
Jeffrey H. Jackson (Making Jazz French: Music and Modern Life in Interwar Paris)
McMaster said he had been completely in the dark about this. The secretary of state had not consulted or even informed him in advance. He had learned from press reports! In a news conference in Qatar, Tillerson had said the agreement “represents weeks of intensive discussions” between the two governments so it had been in the works for a while. Porter said Tillerson had not gone through the policy process at the White House and had not involved the president either. Clearly Tillerson was going off on his own. “It is more loyal to the president,” McMaster said, “to try to persuade rather the circumvent.” He said he carried out direct orders when the president was clear, and felt duty bound to do so as an Army officer. Tillerson in particular did not. “He’s such a prick,” McMaster said. “He thinks he’s smarter than anyone. So he thinks he can do his own thing.” In his long quest to bring order to the chaos, Priebus arranged for each of the key cabinet members to regularly check in. Tillerson came to his office at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18. McMaster had not been invited but joined the meeting anyway. He took a seat at the conference table. The national security adviser’s silent presence was ominous and electric. Tell me, Priebus asked Tillerson, how are things going? Are you on track to achieve your primary objectives? How is the relationship between the State Department and the White House? Between you and the president? “You guys in the White House don’t have your act together,” Tillerson said, and the floodgates gushed open. “The president can’t make a decision. He doesn’t know how to make a decision. He won’t make a decision. He makes a decision and then changes his mind a couple of days later.” McMaster broke his silence and raged at the secretary of state. “You don’t work with the White House,” McMaster said. “You never consult me or anybody on the NSC staff. You blow us off constantly.” He cited examples when he tried to set up calls or meetings or breakfasts with Tillerson. “You are off doing your own thing” and communicate directly with the president, Mattis, Priebus or Porter. “But it’s never with the National Security Council,” and “that’s what we’re here to do.” Then he issued his most dramatic charge. “You’re affirmatively seeking to undermine the national security process.” “That’s not true,” Tillerson replied. “I’m available anytime. I talk to you all the time. We just had a conference call yesterday. We do these morning calls three times a week. What are you talking about, H.R.? I’ve worked with you. I’ll work with anybody.” Tillerson continued, “I’ve also got to be secretary of state. Sometimes I’m traveling. Sometimes I’m in a different time zone. I can’t always take your calls.” McMaster said he consulted with the relevant assistant secretaries of state if the positions were filled. “I don’t have assistant secretaries,” Tillerson said, coldly, “because I haven’t picked them, or the ones that I have, I don’t like and I don’t trust and I don’t work with. So you can check with whoever you want. That has no bearing on me.” The rest of the State Department didn’t matter; if you didn’t go through him, it didn’t count.
Bob Woodward (Fear: Trump in the White House)
The watcher’s eyes are likely to swivel forward in a sequence of stately turns as the screen’s pixel glows: each quarter-ounce mass of eyeball tugged by six flat muscles, in a glissando slide within the slippery fat lining the orbital cavity. The eye blinks, the widened pupils are in position, and the incoming electromagnetic waves roar in. Ripping through the thin layer of the cornea, they decelerate slightly, with their outermost edges forming a nearly flat plane as they travel inward, carrying the as-yet-undetected signal from the screen deep into the waiting human. The waves continue through the liquid of the aqueous humor and on to the gaping hole of the pupil. The human may have squinted to avoid the glare, but human reflexes work at the rate of slow thousandths of a second and are no match for these racing intruders. The pupil is crossed without obstruction. The stiff lens just below focuses the incoming waves even more, sending them into the inland sea of the jellylike vitreous humor deeper down in the eye. A very few of the incoming electric waves explode against the organic molecules in their way, but most simply whirl through those soft biological barriers and continue straight down, piercing the innermost wrapping of the eyeball, till they reach the end-point of their journey: the fragile, stalklike projection from the living brain known as the retina. And deep inside there, in the dark, barely slowed from their original 670 million mph, the waves splatter into the ancient, moist blood vessels and cell membranes, and something unexpected happens. An electric current switches on.
David Bodanis (Electric Universe: How Electricity Switched on the Modern World)
GERMAN PANCAKES Preheat oven to 375 degrees F., rack in the middle position.   Prepare an 8-inch square pan by spraying it with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray, or coating the inside with butter. Hannah’s 1st Note: You can double this recipe if you like, so that it will serve 8 people. If you double this recipe, it will take approximately 55 minutes to bake. Hannah’s 2nd Note: This dish works best if you use an electric mixer. 6 strips bacon (I used applewood smoked bacon) 4 large eggs 1 cup whole milk (I’ve used heavy cream and that works also) 1 cup flour (Just scoop it up and level it off with a table knife.) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon salt 4 ounces cream cheese (half of an 8-ounce package) minced parsley to sprinkle on top (optional) Fry the bacon in a frying pan on the stovetop until it’s crispy. Let it cool to room temperature, and then crumble it into the bottom of your baking pan. In an electric mixer, beat the eggs with half of the milk (that’s ½ cup). Continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and salt. Beat until they’re well combined. Mix in the flour and beat for 40 seconds. Add the second half of the milk (another ½ cup) and beat until everything is light and fluffy. Pour half of the mixture over the bacon crumbles in the 8-inch square pan. Cut the cream cheese into 1-inch-square cubes. Place them evenly over the egg mixture in the pan. Pour the second half of the mixture over the cream cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 45 to 55 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and puffy on top. Hannah’s 3rd Note: This breakfast entree is excellent when served with biscuits or crispy buttered toast.
Joanne Fluke (Cinnamon Roll Murder (Hannah Swensen, #15))
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)
SOME OF THE WOMEN YOU WILL MEET on these pages, you will already know. Some you’ll know by name, and others, including some of the very best, you may never have heard of. Frankly, some of these women have careers that deserve a book-length treatment all their own. I’m thinking, in particular, of Nathalie Baye, Sandrine Bonnaire, Isabelle Huppert, Agnès Jaoui, Sandrine Kiberlain, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Karin Viard. In any case, over the course of this book, you will come to know their best work and that of their colleagues. It is a striking thing, the sheer vastness of the working talent, a roster that includes but is hardly limited to names such as Isabelle Adjani, Fanny Ardant, Josiane Balasko, Emmanuelle Béart, Leïla Bekhti, Monica Bellucci, Juliette Binoche, Élodie Bouchez, Isabelle Carré, Amira Casar, Marion Cotillard, Marie-Josée Croze, Emmanuelle Devos, Marina Foïs, Sara Forestier, Cécile de France, Catherine Frot, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Julie Gayet, Marie Gillain, Marina Hands, Mélanie Laurent, Virginie Ledoyen, Valérie Lemercier, Sophie Marceau, Chiara Mastroianni, Anna Mouglalis, Géraldine Pailhas, Charlotte Rampling, Natacha Régnier, Brigitte Roüan, Ludivine Sagnier, Emmanuelle Seigner, Mathilde Seigner, Audrey Tautou, Sylvie Testud, Kristin Scott Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein. Some of these women are renowned for their beauty (Béart, Bellucci, Binoche, Marceau). But many others are beautiful in ways that elude analysis. They are warm or electric or magnetic or so idiosyncratic that your eyes immediately go to them. They are beautiful like the actresses of an earlier Hollywood generation, like Barbara Stanwyck, Claudette Colbert or Olivia de Havilland. In the 1930s, Busby Berkeley’s chorus lines were filled with women who were prettier, and yet these ladies became objects of cinematic fantasy. Obviously, they had some requisite base level of good looks, but what pushed them into the realm of beauty was something else, something inside them, something to do with their essential being. And yet . . . what happens if a culture or an industry isn’t interested in a woman’s essential being? Stanwyck and her exalted colleagues would have been nothing in such an environment, just as many American actresses today are going through entire careers without ever showing what’s inside of them.
Mick LaSalle (The Beauty of the Real: What Hollywood Can Learn from Contemporary French Actresses)
Yet in 2012, he returned. Plenty of the speechwriters were livid. The club was the embodiment of everything we had promised to change. Was it really necessary to flatter these people, just because they were powerful and rich? In a word, yes. In fact, thanks to the Supreme Court, the rich were more powerful than ever. In 2010, the court’s five conservative justices gutted America’s campaign finance laws in the decision known as Citizens United. With no more limits to the number of attack ads they could purchase, campaigns had become another hobby for the ultrawealthy. Tired of breeding racehorses or bidding on rare wines at auction? Buy a candidate instead! I should make it clear that no one explicitly laid out a strategy regarding the dinner. I never asked point-blank if we hoped to charm billionaires into spending their billions on something other than Mitt Romney’s campaign. That said, I knew it couldn’t hurt. Hoping to mollify the one-percenters in the audience, I kept the script embarrassingly tame. I’ve got about forty-five more minutes on the State of the Union that I’d like to deliver tonight. I am eager to work with members of Congress to be entertaining tonight. But if Congress is unwilling to cooperate, I will be funny without them. Even for a politician, this was weak. But it apparently struck the right tone. POTUS barely edited the speech. A few days later, as a reward for a job well done, Favs invited me to tag along to a speechwriting-team meeting with the president. I had not set foot in the Oval Office since my performance of the Golden Girls theme song. On that occasion, President Obama remained behind his desk. For larger gatherings like this one, however, he crossed the room to a brown leather armchair, and the rest of us filled the two beige sofas on either side. Between the sofas was a coffee table. On the coffee table sat a bowl, which under George W. Bush had contained candy but under Obama was full of apples instead. Hence the ultimate Oval Office power move: grab an apple at the end of a meeting, polish it on your suit, and take a casual chomp on your way out the door. I would have sooner stuck my finger in an electrical socket. Desperate not to call attention to myself, I took the seat farthest away and kept my eyes glued to my laptop. I allowed myself just one indulgence: a quick peek at the Emancipation Proclamation. That’s right, buddy. Look who’s still here. It was only at the very end of the meeting, as we rose from the surprisingly comfy couches, that Favs brought up the Alfalfa dinner. The right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham had been in the audience, and she was struck by the president’s poise. “She was talking about it this morning,” Favs told POTUS. “She said, ‘I don’t know if Mitt Romney can beat him.
David Litt (Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years)