Famous Discovery Quotes

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I called it a baptism in flaming ink that forced me to shed my shyness about recognizing myself as a poet and to accept the fact that life had never given me any choice in the matter. And then I had to discover exactly what that meant.
Aberjhani (The American Poet Who Went Home Again)
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))
Early in the twentieth century, the physicist Lord Rutherford, best known for his landmark discovery of the atomic nucleus, famously pronounced, “All science is either physics or stamp collecting.
Lisa Randall (Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe)
And the most glorious exploits do not always furnish us with the clearest discoveries of virtue or vice in men; sometimes a matter of less moment, an expression or a jest, informs us better of their characters and inclinations, than the most famous sieges, the greatest armaments, or the bloodiest battles whatsoever. Therefore as portrait-painters are more exact in the lines and features of the face, in which the character is seen, than in the other parts of the body, so I must be allowed to give my more particular attention to the marks and indications of the souls of men, and while I endeavor by these to portray their lives, may be free to leave more weighty matters and great battles to be treated of by others.
Plutarch (Plutarch's Lives: Volume II)
For the book was also about ambition. About wanting to be the biggest, the best, the most famous at any cost. It was about pushing the boundaries of discovery. Most of all, though, it was a warning: without love and kindness, we all become monsters.
Emma Carroll (Strange Star)
A famous name has this peculiarity that it becomes gradually smaller especially in natural sciences where each succeeding discovery invariably overshadows what precedes.
Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff
I think a strong claim can be made that the process of scientific discovery may be regarded as a form of art. This is best seen in the theoretical aspects of Physical Science. The mathematical theorist builds up on certain assumptions and according to well understood logical rules, step by step, a stately edifice, while his imaginative power brings out clearly the hidden relations between its parts. A well constructed theory is in some respects undoubtedly an artistic production. A fine example is the famous Kinetic Theory of Maxwell. ... The theory of relativity by Einstein, quite apart from any question of its validity, cannot but be regarded as a magnificent work of art.
Ernest Rutherford
This [discovery of a cell-free yeast extract] will make him famous, even though he has no talent for chemistry. {Comment on German scientist Eduard Buchner who later ironically won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this discovery}
Adolf von Baeyer
It was Freud's ambition to discover the cause of hysteria, the archetypal female neurosis of his time. In his early investigations, he gained the trust and confidence of many women, who revealed their troubles to him.Time after time, Freud's patients, women from prosperous, conventional families, unburdened painful memories of childhood sexual encounters with men they had trusted: family friends, relatives, and fathers. Freud initially believed his patients and recognized the significance of their confessions. In 1896, with the publication of two works, The Aetiology of Hysteria and Studies on Hysteria, he announced that he had solved the mystery of the female neurosis. At the origin of every case of hysteria, Freud asserted, was a childhood sexual trauma. But Freud was never comfortable with this discovery, because of what it implied about the behavior of respectable family men. If his patients' reports were true, incest was not a rare abuse, confined to the poor and the mentally defective, but was endemic to the patriarchal family. Recognizing the implicit challenge to patriarchal values, Freud refused to identify fathers publicly as sexual aggressors. Though in his private correspondence he cited "seduction by the father" as the "essential point" in hysteria, he was never able to bring himself to make this statement in public. Scrupulously honest and courageous in other respects, Freud falsified his incest cases. In The Aetiology of Hysteria, Freud implausibly identified governessss, nurses, maids, and children of both sexes as the offenders. In Studies in Hysteria, he managed to name an uncle as the seducer in two cases. Many years later, Freud acknowledged that the "uncles" who had molested Rosaslia and Katharina were in fact their fathers. Though he had shown little reluctance to shock prudish sensibilities in other matters, Freud claimed that "discretion" had led him to suppress this essential information. Even though Freud had gone to such lengths to avoid publicly inculpating fathers, he remained so distressed by his seduction theory that within a year he repudiated it entirely. He concluded that his patients' numerous reports of sexual abuse were untrue. This conclusion was based not on any new evidence from patients, but rather on Freud's own growing unwillingness to believe that licentious behavior on the part of fathers could be so widespread. His correspondence of the period revealed that he was particularly troubled by awareness of his own incestuous wishes toward his daughter, and by suspicions of his father, who had died recently. p9-10
Judith Lewis Herman (Father-Daughter Incest: With a New Afterword)
Truly creative people work for work’s own sake, and if they make a public discovery or become famous that is a bonus. What
Tom Butler-Bowdon (50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do: Insight and Inspiration from 50 Key Books (50 Classics))
Oliver, my professor, was a scientific bounder, a journalist by instinct, a thief of ideas,—he was always prying! And you know the knavish system of the scientific world. I simply would not publish, and let him share my credit. I went on working, I got nearer and nearer making my formula into an experiment, a reality. I told no living soul, because I meant to flash my work upon the world with crushing effect and become famous at a blow. I took up the question of pigments to fill up certain gaps. And suddenly, not by design but by accident, I made a discovery in physiology.
H.G. Wells (The Invisible Man)
One [event] is the discovery of the anesthetic properties of chloroform [in 1847] by James Simpson of Scotland. Following the reports of [William] Morton’s demonstration [1846], he tried ether but, dissatisfied, searched for a substitute and came upon chlorophorm. He was an obstetrician. His use of anesthesia to alleviate the pains of childbirth was violently opposed by the Scottish clergy on the ground that pain was ordained by the scriptural command, “In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children”, and that it was impious to attempt to avert it by anesthetic agents. And it was Simpson who stilled this opposition by his own famous quotation from scripture; he pointed out that when Eve was born, God cast Adam into deep sleep before performing upon him the notable costalectomy. Anesthesia was thus permissible by scriptural precedent.
Howard Wilcox Haggard
Anger, resentment, jealousy, desire for revenge, lust, greed, antagonisms, and rivalries are the obvious signs that I have left home. And that happens quite easily. When I pay careful attention to what goes on in my mind from moment to moment, I come to the disconcerting discovery that there are very few moments during the day when I am really free from these dark emotions, passions and feelings. Constantly falling back into an old trap, before I am even fully aware of it, I find myself wondering why someone hurt me, rejected me, or didn't pay attention to me. Without realizing it, I find myself brooding about someone else's success, my own loneliness, and the way the world abuses me. Despite my conscious intentions, I often catch myself daydreaming about becoming rich, powerful, and very famous. All of these mental games reveal to me the fragility of my faith that I am the Beloved One on whom God's favor rests. I am so afraid of being disliked, blamed, put aside, passed over, ignored, persecuted, and killed, that I am constantly developing strategies to defend myself and thereby assure myself of the love I think I need and deserve. And in so doing I move far away from my father's home and choose to dwell in a "distant country.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming)
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: "Anyone can cook." But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.
Anton Ego, from Disney Pixar's 'Ratatouille'
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the *new*. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new: an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto, "Anyone can cook." But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist *can* come from *anywhere*. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.
Walt Disney Company
Spilsby in Lincolnshire is proud of its most famous son, Sir John Franklin, and home to an enormous bronze statue of him. It was unveiled in 1875 and according to the legend on its plaque, it was Sir John who discovered the Northwest Passage. This is overstating things a little, given that the discovery was made twenty-five years later and by Roald Amundsen.
Shaun Micallef (The President's Desk: An Alt-History of the United States)
As new discoveries continued to accumulate it became apparent that almost every group of coelurosaurs had feathered representatives, from the weird secondarily herbivorous forms such as Beipiaosaurus to Dilong, an early relative of Tyrannosaurus. It is even possible that, during its early life, the most famous of the flesh-tearing dinosaurs may have been covered in a coat of dino-fuzz.
Brian Switek (Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature)
The most well known theory concerning the whereabouts of the Ark, made famous by the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, places it in the ruins of the ancient city of Tanis in Egypt. This theory proposes that the Ark was plundered by the Egyptians shortly after Solomon’s death. According to the Old Testament, the pharaoh Sheshonq I of Egypt attacked Jerusalem, raided the Temple, and plundered its treasures (1 Kgs 14:26). Sheshonq I established Tanis as the new Egyptian capital, and so it is here that Indiana Jones discovers the lost Ark in Steven Spielberg’s movie.
Graham Phillips (The Templars and the Ark of the Covenant: The Discovery of the Treasure of Solomon)
Historically, discoveries of pure science are slow to reach the mainstream compared with those of the applied sciences, which noisily announce themselves with new medicines and gadgets. The Hubble has proved an exception, remaking, in a single generation, the popular conception of the universe. It has accomplished this primarily through the aesthetic force of its discoveries, which distill the difficult abstractions of astrophysics into singular expressions of color and light, vindicating Keats’s famous couplet: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” Though philosophy has hardly registered it, the Hubble has given us nothing less than an ontological awakening, a forceful reckoning with what is. The telescope compels the mind to contemplate space and time on a scale just shy of the infinite.
Ross Andersen
If he noticed a female convict with a baby in her arms, he would approach, fondle the baby and snap his fingers at it to make it laugh. These things he did for many years, right up to his death; eventually he was famous all over Russia and all over Siberia, among the criminals, that is. One man who had been in Siberia told me that he himself had witnessed how the most hardened criminals remembered the general, and yet the general, when he visited the gangs of convicts, was rarely able to give more than twenty copecks to each man. It’s true that he wasn’t remembered with much affection, or even very seriously. Some ‘unfortunate wretch’, who had killed twelve people, or put six children to the knife solely for his own amusement (there were such men, it is said), would suddenly, apropos of nothing, perhaps only once in twenty years, sigh and say: ‘Well, and how’s the old general now, is he still alive?’ He would even, perhaps, smile as he said it – and that would be all. How can you know what seed had been cast into his soul for ever by this ‘old general’, whom he had not forgotten in twenty years? How can you know, Bakhmutov, what significance this communication between one personality and another may have in the fate of the personality that is communicated with?… I mean, we’re talking about the whole of a life, and a countless number of ramifications that are hidden from us. The very finest player of chess, the most acute of them, can only calculate a few moves ahead; one French player, who was able to calculate ten moves ahead, was described in the press as a miracle. But how many moves are here, and how much is there that is unknown to us? In sowing your seed, sowing your ‘charity’, your good deeds in whatever form, you give away a part of your personality and absorb part of another; a little more attention, and you are rewarded with knowledge, with the most unexpected discoveries. You will, at last, certainly view your deeds as a science; they will take over the whole of your life and may fill it. On the other hand, all your thoughts, all the seeds you have sown, which perhaps you have already forgotten, will take root and grow; the one who has received from you will give to another. And how can you know what part you will play in the future resolution of the fates of mankind? If this knowledge, and a whole lifetime of this work, exalts you, at last, to the point where you are able to sow a mighty seed, leave a mighty idea to the world as an inheritance, then…
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Idiot)
In another curious and roundabout way, however, the Nazis gave a propaganda answer to the question of what their future role would be, and that was in their use of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” as a model for the future organization of the German masses for “world empire.” The use of the Protocols was not restricted to the Nazis; hundreds of thousands of copies were sold in postwar Germany, and even their open adoption as a handbook of politics was not new. Nevertheless, this forgery was mainly used for the purpose of denouncing the Jews and arousing the mob to the dangers of Jewish domination. In terms of mere propaganda, the discovery of the Nazis was that the masses were not so frightened by Jewish world rule as they were interested in how it could be done, that the popularity of the Protocols was based on admiration and eagerness to learn rather than on hatred, and that it would be wise to stay as close as possible to certain of their outstanding formulas, as in the case of the famous slogan: “Right is what is good for the German people,” which was copied from the Protocols’ “Everything that benefits the Jewish people is morally right and sacred”.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Partridge was one of my favorite discoveries. During one early-morning exploration of Les Halles, Chef Bugnard stopped at a friend’s stall and, picking up a partridge, said, “Here you see a perdreau.” The generic name for partridge is perdrix, but a young roasting bird is a perdreau. He decided to demonstrate how to make the famous perdreau rôti sur canapé, a roast partridge on a crouton of its own chopped liver. Bending the tip end of the bird’s breastbone, he said, “Feel that. It bends a little at the end.” With some difficulty at first, because of the feathers, I felt the breastbone. It did indeed have about half an inch of flexibility at the tail end. The bird’s legs and feet were also subjected to Chef’s inspection: if there was a claw above the back of the heel, it was mature; youthful perdreaux have but a nubbin where the eventual claw will be, and their legs are not raddled by age. The feathers, too, tell something, since those of the young have a bit of white at the very tips. Picking up a mature partridge, a perdrix, he said, “When you feel a rigid bone from neck to tail, you have maturity.” A perdrix wants braising in cabbage, he said, and perdrix en chartreuse is the classic recipe.
Julia Child (My Life in France)
As I was completing this book, I saw news reports quoting NASA chief Charles Bolden announcing that from now on the primary mission of America’s space agency would be to improve relations with the Muslim world. Come again? Bolden said he got the word directly from the president. “He wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and math and engineering.” Bolden added that the International Space Station was a kind of model for NASA’s future, since it was not just a U.S. operation but included the Russians and the Chinese. Bolden, who made these remarks in an interview with Al-Jazeera, timed them to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Obama’s own Cairo address to the Muslim world.3 Bolden’s remarks provoked consternation not only among conservatives but also among famous former astronauts Neil Armstrong and John Glenn and others involved in America’s space programs. No surprise: most people think of NASA’s job as one of landing on the moon and Mars and exploring other faraway destinations. Even some of Obama’s supporters expressed puzzlement. Sure, we are all for Islamic self-esteem, and seven or eight hundred years ago the Muslims did make a couple of important discoveries, but what on earth was Obama up to here?
Dinesh D'Souza (The Roots of Obama's Rage)
The malicious erasure of women’s names from the historical record began two or three thousand years ago and continues into our own period. Women take as great a risk of anonymity when they merge their names with men in literary collaboration as when they merge in matrimony. The Lynds, for example, devoted equal time, thought, and effort to the writing of Middletown, but today it is Robert Lynd’s book. Dr. Mary Leakey made the important paleontological discoveries in Africa, but Dr. Louis Leakey gets all the credit. Mary Beard did a large part of the work on America in Midpassage, yet Charles Beard is the great social historian. The insidious process is now at work on Eve Curie. A recent book written for young people states that radium was discovered by Pierre Curie with the help of his assistant, Eve, who later became his wife. Aspasia wrote the famous oration to the Athenians, as Socrates knew, but in all the history books it is Pericles’ oration. Corinna taught Pindar and polished his poems for posterity; but who ever heard of Corinna? Peter Abelard got his best ideas from Heloise, his acknowledged intellectual superior, yet Abelard is the great medieval scholar and philosopher. Mary Sidney probably wrote Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia; Nausicaa wrote the Odyssey, as Samuel Butler proves in his book The Authoress of the Odyssey, at least to the satisfaction of this writer and of Robert Graves, who comment, “no other alternative makes much sense.
Elizabeth Gould Davis (The First Sex)
We are lovers of beauty without extravagance, and lovers of wisdom without unmanliness. Wealth to us is not mere material for vainglory but an opportunity for achievement; and poverty we think it no disgrace to acknowledge but a real degradation to make no effort to overcome.... Let us draw strength, not merely from twice-told arguments—how fair and noble a thing it is to show courage in battle—but from the busy spectacle of our great city's life as we have it before us day by day, falling in love with her as we see her, and remembering that all this greatness she owes to men with the fighter's daring, the wise man's understanding of his duty, and the good man's self-discipline in its performance—to men who, if they failed in any ordeal, disdained to deprive the city of their services, but sacrificed their lives as the best offerings on her behalf. So they gave their bodies to the commonwealth and received, each for his own memory, praise that will never die, and with it the grandest of all sepulchres, not that in which their mortal bones are laid, but a home in the minds of men, where their glory remains fresh to stir to speech or action as the occasion comes by. For the whole earth is a sepulchre of famous men; and their story is not graven only on stone over their native earth, but lives on far away, without visible symbol, woven into the stuff of other men's lives. For you now it remains to rival what they have done and, knowing the secret of happiness to be freedom and the secret of freedom a brave heart, not idly to stand aside from the enemy's onset.
Jawaharlal Nehru (Discovery of India)
The book that most interested the boy told the stories of the famous alchemists. They were men who had dedicated their entire lives to the purification of metals in their laboratories; they believed that, if a metal were heated for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and what was left would be the Soul of the World. This Soul of the World allowed them to understand anything on the face of the earth, because it was the language with which all things communicated. They called that discovery the Master Work—it was part liquid and part solid. “Can’t you just observe men and omens in order to understand the language?” the boy asked. “You have a mania for simplifying everything,” answered the Englishman, irritated. “Alchemy is a serious discipline. Every step has to be followed exactly as it was followed by the masters.” The boy learned that the liquid part of the Master Work was called the Elixir of Life, and that it cured all illnesses; it also kept the alchemist from growing old. And the solid part was called the Philosopher’s Stone. “It’s not easy to find the Philosopher’s Stone,” said the Englishman. “The alchemists spent years in their laboratories, observing the fire that purified the metals. They spent so much time close to the fire that gradually they gave up the vanities of the world. They discovered that the purification of the metals had led to a purification of themselves.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
ALBUS DUMBLEDORE CURRENTLY HEADMASTER OF HOGWARTS Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the Dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon’s blood, and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and tenpin bowling.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
With a historian’s eye, Archibald Gracie attempted to separate truth from fantasy as he listened to the survivors’ stories, a potential book beginning to form in his mind. Second Officer Lightoller and Third Officer Pitman regularly stopped by the small cabin Gracie shared with Hugh Woolner to discuss various aspects of the disaster. All agreed that the explosions heard during the sinking could not have been the ship’s boilers blowing up. From the discovery of the severed wreck in 1985 we now know that the “explosions” were actually the sound of the ship being wrenched apart. But Gracie and Lightoller firmly believed that the ship had sunk intact—a view that would become the prevailing opinion for the next seventy-three years. Gracie thought that Norris Williams and Jack Thayer, “the two young men cited as authority … of the break-in-two theory,” had confused the falling funnel for the ship breaking apart. But both Williams and Thayer knew exactly what they had seen, as did some other eyewitnesses. On the Carpathia, Jack Thayer described the stages of the ship’s sinking and breaking apart to Lewis Skidmore, a Brooklyn art teacher, who drew sketches that were later featured in many newspapers. The inaccuracies in Skidmore’s drawings, however, only bolstered the belief that the ship had, in fact, sunk intact. And what of the most famous Titanic legend of all—that the band played “Nearer My God to Thee” as the ship neared its end? It’s often claimed that this was a myth that took hold among survivors on the Carpathia and captivated the public in the aftermath of the disaster. None of the musicians survived to confirm or deny the story, but Harold Bride noted that the last tune he heard being played as he left the wireless cabin was “Autumn.” For a time this was believed to be a hymn tune by that name, but Walter Lord proposed in The Night Lives On that Bride must have been referring to “Songe d’Automne,” a popular waltz by Archibald Joyce that is listed in White Star music booklets of the period. Historian George Behe, however, has carefully studied the survivor accounts regarding the music that was heard during the sinking and has found credible evidence that “Nearer My God to Thee” and perhaps other hymns were played toward the end. Behe also recounts that the orchestra’s leader, Wallace Hartley, was once asked by a friend what he would do if he ever found himself on a sinking ship. Hartley replied, “I don’t think I could do better than play ‘O God, Our Help in Ages Past’ or ‘Nearer My God to Thee.’ ” The legendary hymn may not have been the very last tune played on the Titanic but it seems possible that it was heard on the sloping deck that night.
Hugh Brewster (Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic's First-Class Passengers and Their World)
The Leyden jar was the first electrical storage device, invented independently in Pomerania and in Leyden, Holland, in 1745. It stored electrical charge generated by contact, the kind we call static electricity today. In his famous kite experiment of 1752, Franklin flew a kite in a thunderstorm to collect electrical charge, which he transferred from his wet kite string into a Leyden jar. The experiment demonstrated that the modest sparks and shocks of static electricity were identical with the great bursts of lightning that split the sky in storms. For such “discoveries in electricity,” the Royal Society of London elected Franklin to membership in 1753 and awarded him the Copley Medal, its highest honor.
Richard Rhodes (Energy: A Human History)
CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER A phrase made famous by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Holmes argued that even though freedom of speech is guaranteed by the First Amendment, it can be limited in order to protect the public. For example, a person does not have a constitutional right to yell, “Fire!” in a crowded theater when there is no fire. This creates, in Holmes’s words, a “clear and present danger” to the public at large.
David Olsen (801 Things You Should Know: From Greek Philosophy to Today's Technology, Theories, Events, Discoveries, Trends, and Movements That Matter)
I haughtily dismissed the principles sponsored by philosophers, religious leaders, and the ideas of poets in exchange for seeking financial stability and shallow happiness. I imported into my conceited consciousness the values of a freewheeling American society, a culture that fawns on rich and famous celebrities, applauds fantastic risk-taking, and promotes a permissive lifestyle. I lack serious ambition – romantic or practical – to achieve any intellectual or spiritual worthwhile accomplishments. Decrepit and friendless, I am so lost that I do not even know what bellwether I seek. I went astray by callously disrespecting the life sustaining lessons handed down by our ancestors. Only by stripping myself of the rank costume cloaking personal shame, a remorseful suit of motley skin that I stitched together by living a selfishly tailored life, can embark on a journey to discover a better way to live.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
[Lucas] was most famous for his short, best-selling book on fossils, "Animals of the Past: An Account of Some of the Creatures of the Ancient World", in which he showed his gift for enlivening the driest science. Apologizing for using Latin scientific names, he wrote: 'The reader may perhaps sympathize with the old lady who said the discovery of all these strange animals did not surprise her so much as the fact that anyone should know their names when they were found.
Michael Capuzzo (Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916)
Henri Fehr, the famous Swiss scientist, said that practically all his good ideas came to him when he was not actively engaged in work on a problem, and that most of the discoveries of his contemporaries were made when they were away from their workbench, so to speak.
Maxwell Maltz (Psycho-Cybernetics: Updated and Expanded)
It is quite a revelation to discover that the place you wanted to escape to is the exact same place you escaped from. That the prison wasn’t the place, but the perspective. And the most peculiar discovery Nora made was that, of all the extremely divergent variations of herself she had experienced, the most radical sense of change happened within the exact same life. The one she began and ended with. This biggest and most profound shift happened not by becoming richer or more successful or more famous or by being amid the glaciers and polar bears of Svalbard. It happened by waking up in the exact same bed, in the same grotty damp apartment with its dilapidated sofa and yucca plant and tiny potted cacti and bookshelves and untried yoga manuals.
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
European perfumery started in earnest around the turn of the twentieth century, and developed apace with the discovery of aroma chemicals: coumarin, vanillin, cyclamen aldehyde, the great nitro musks. The Great War left industry and cities largely intact and killed countless males. Many factors then conspired to make the period 1918-1939 the golden age of mass perfumery: working women vying for the remaining men, cheap aroma chemicals, cheap labor to harvest the naturals, flourishing visual arts and music, the obsolescence of prewar bourgeois dignity, replaced by irreverence and optimism. The WWII destroyed the great engine of European chemistry (Germany). The tail end of German chemistry on the Rhine lay in the neutral Switzerland and was untouched, which is wy today two of the biggest perfumery houses in the world (Firmenich and Givaudan) are Swiss. Postwar France stank. In 1951, six years after the Liberation, only one household in fifteen had an internal bathroom. The Paris Metro at rush hour was famous for its unwashed stench. Given cost constraints, French perfumes in those years ('50) had an air de famille, a perfumey feel based on then-cheap drydown materials like sandalwood oil and salicylate esters. Being able to smell someone's fragrance was a sign of intimacy. When a perfume left a trail (called sillage) it was remarked upon, usually unfavourably. It is a strange coincidence, or perhaps a hint of the existence of God, that skin melanin is a polymer spontaneously formed from phenols, and that the perfumery materials that defined American perfumery were also in good part phenols.
Luca Turin (Perfumes: The Guide)
I was afraid that if Bekenstein found out about it, he would use it as a further argument to support his ideas about the entropy of black holes, which I still did not like.” But the more Hawking worked, the more he seemed to be proving Bekenstein right. Not only did black holes radiate heat, but they did so by exactly the amount required if the area of their event horizons was indeed a measure of their entropy. By early 1974, Hawking had developed this work into a fully fledged theory. It led to his now-famous discovery that “Hawking radiation” leaks out of all black holes.
Paul Sen (Einstein's Fridge: How the Difference Between Hot and Cold Explains the Universe)
But though it was to be an economical crossing, one step up from steerage, in the Canadian Pacific offices off Trafalgar Square—more cathedral than bureau, all teak, marble, and hush, and with scale models of famous ocean liners from the old days illuminated in the windows—even this most modest of transactions was handled with dignity and circumstance.
Simon Winchester (Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms & a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories)
Derek Walcott, the Nobel laureate poet, wrote in his famous epic work Omeros of his fisherman-hero Achilles walking finally and wearily up the shingled slope of an Atlantic beach. He has turned his back on the sea at last, but he knows that even without his seeing it, it is behind him all the while and simply, ponderously, magnificently, ominously, continuing to be the sea. The Ocean is, quite simply, “still going on.
Simon Winchester (Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms & a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories)
For the First Dynasty of Babylon, to which the famous Hammurabi belonged, was very probably of Arab origin, to judge by the forms of some of the royal names. It is by no means impossible that there was some connection between these two conquests, and that both Babylonia and Egypt fell, in the period before the year 2000 B.C. before some great migratory movement from Arabia, which overran Babylonia, Palestine, and even the Egyptian Delta.
Leonard W. King (History of Egypt, Chalda, Syria, Babylonia and Assyria in the Light of Recent Discovery)
In a famous article,8 the physicist Eugene Wigner has written of “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics.
Steven Weinberg (To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science)
The pre-Socratic Xenophanes famously commented, “Ethiopians have gods with snub noses and black hair, Thracians gods with gray eyes and red hair,” and remarked, “But if oxen (and horses) and lions had hands or could draw with hands and create works of art like those made by men, horses would draw pictures of gods like horses, and oxen of gods like oxen, and they would make the bodies [of their gods] in accordance with the form that each species itself possesses.
Steven Weinberg (To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science)
All great and famous people understand that the chief priority in their life is to discover oneself, ones calling and to devote one’s life to its fulfilment
Sunday Adelaja
Spock split his attention between Burnham and the path ahead. “I doubt either of us would be welcomed among Vulcan crews. As quick as they are to profess the wisdom of IDIC, they remain in many ways quite provincial.” It pained Burnham to admit to herself that Spock was likely correct. IDIC—the Vulcan philosophy that extolled the virtue of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations—all too often was honored in its breach rather than its observance. If someone as famous as Spock, son of Sarek, thinks he’d be persona non grata on an all-Vulcan ship, what chance will I ever have? She rebelled against a swell of desperation
David Mack (Desperate Hours (Star Trek: Discovery #1))
Someone who is motivated solely by the desire to become rich and famous might struggle hard to get ahead but will rarely have enough inducement to work beyond what is necessary, to venture beyond what is already known.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention)
Age: 11 Height: 5’5 Favourite animal: Wolf   Chris loves to learn. When he’s not reading books explaining how planes work or discovering what lives at the bottom of the ocean, he’s watching the Discovery Channel on TV to learn about all the world’s animal and plant life. How things work is one of Chris’ main interests, and for this reason he has a special appreciation for electrical and mechanical things, everything from computers to trains. He considers himself a train expert and one day dreams of riding on famous trains, such as the Orient Express and the Trans-Siberian Railway.   Chris dreams of one day being a great engineer, like Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He knows this will involve going to university, so he studies hard at school. Beatrix is his study partner, and when they aren’t solving mysteries in the Cluefinders Club they can be found in the garden poring over text books. Like Ben, he loves to read comic books, and his favourite super-hero is Iron Man, who is a genius engineer and businessman. Chris says, “One day I’ll invent a new form of transport that will revolutionise world travel!”    
Ken T. Seth (The Case of the Vanishing Bully (The Cluefinder Club #1))
listen to this: “Professor Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the Dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon’s blood and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel”!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
William pondered what his next discovery might be. He knew that readers were vexed by the possibility that their Bard might have been Catholic. There is, after all, that suspicious reference to Purgatory by the ghost of Hamlet’s father. In an era when anti-Catholic legislation was favorably viewed by many, such papist skullduggery was improper in a national literary hero. And so, on Christmas Day of 1794, William presented his nation with a fine gift—Shakespeare’s Profession of Faith, in which he disowns any Catholic sympathies. His father was awed by the import of this, so much so that he could no longer keep the discoveries secret. All holiday frivolity was to be set aside now. —
Paul Collins (Banvard's Folly: Thirteen Tales of Renowned Obscurity, Famous Anonymity, and Rotten Luck)
ALBUS DUMBLEDORE  CURRENTLY  HEADMASTER  OF  HOGWARTS Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the Dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon’s blood, and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and tenpin bowling. Harry
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1))
GANDHI WOULD LEARN, however, that empathy had its limits, an insight previously reached by the psychiatrist/philosopher Karl Jaspers, famous for making empathy central to his thinking. Jaspers boldly resisted Nazism and was one of the few prominent anti-Nazi philosophers who stayed in Germany after Hitler took power. In both his psychiatric and political experience, Jaspers discovered the limits of empathy. In psychiatry, he found that the inability to empathize was a sign of psychosis, the loss of touch with reality that characterizes bizarre delusions or hallucinations. The psychotic’s inability to empathize with others is mirrored by our inability to empathize with his delusions. If you firmly believe that your entrails are being invaded by Martians, no matter how much I try to understand your life and feelings and thoughts, I cannot make sense of—or empathize with—your delusion. Just as Jaspers argued that there are limits to empathy in psychiatry, he found that he could not empathize with the Nazi evil; it was the political equivalent of a delusion—a pure falsehood with which he could not conceivably empathize. His discovery would be repeated by Gandhi’s experience during the last decade of his life, and, initially, with the same challenge: Adolf Hitler.
S. Nassir Ghaemi (A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness)
The suspicion that certain ancient authorities possessed good knowledge of the real shape of the Atlantic and its islands, and of the lands on both sides of it, must also arise from any objective reading of Plato's world-famous account of Atlantis. [...], this story is set around 11,600 years ago -- a date that coincides with a peak episode of global flooding at the end of the Ice Age. The story tells us that 'the island of Atlantis was swallowed up by the sea and vanished', that this took place in 'a single dreadful day and night' and that the event was accompanied by earthquakes and floods that were experienced as far away as the eastern Mediterranean. But of more immediate interest to us here is what Plato has to say about the geographical situation in the Atlantic immediately before the flood that destroyed Atlantis: 'In those days the Atlantic was navigable. There was an island opposite the strait [the Strait of Gibraltar] which you [the Greeks] call the Pillars of Heracles, an island larger than Libya and Asia combined; from it travellers could in those days reach the other islands, and from them the whole opposite continent which surrounds what can truly be called the ocean. For the sea within the strait we are talking about [i.e. the Mediterranean] is like a lake with a narrow entrance; the outer ocean is the real ocean and the land which entirely surrounds it is properly termed continent ... On this land of Atlantis had arisen a powerful and remarkable dynasty of kings who ruled the whole island; and many other islands as well, and parts of the continent ...' Whether or not one believes than an island called Atlantis ever existed in the Atlantic Ocean, Plato's clear references to an 'opposite continent' on the far side of it are geographical knowledge out of place in time. It is hard to read in these references anything other than an allusion to the Americas, and yet historians assure us that the Americas were unknown in Plato's time and remained 'undiscovered' (except for a few inconsequential Viking voyages) until Colombus in 1492.
Graham Hancock (Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization)
To have followed the speculative vision of Behaim in his famous globe, or of others like him, would have been disastrous, even though their work represents the cream of fifteenth-century mapmaking and was known to Columbus. Indeed, as one commentator has observed, if his chart had been based on the Behaim scenario, 'Columbus could not even have known of the whereabouts of the New World, much less discover it.' Yet not only does he seem to have known where he was going but, on some accounts, when he was going to get there: 'Now and then Pinzón and Columbus consult and deliberate -- mutually discuss their route. The map or chart passes not infrequently from the one captain to the other; the observations and calculations as to their position are daily recorded, their conduct and course for the night duly agreed upon. On the eve of their due arrival Columbus issues the order to stay the course of the armada, to shorten sail, because he knew that he was close to the New World and was afraid of going ashore during the obscurity of the night ... How does he know the place and the hour? 'His Genius' says the Columbus legend in explanation. But the Map? The critics will ask, what did it contain? Whose was it? What did that map contain that was so frequently passed from Columbus to Pinzón during the voyage?' I've presented my case that what the map may have contained was an accurate but ancient, and indeed antediluvian, representation of the coast and islands of Central America, notably the north-south-oriented Great Bahama Bank island, which Columbus -- no less ignorant than any of his contemporaries about the existence of the Americas -- took to be an accurate map of part of the coast of China and the islands of Japan.
Graham Hancock (Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization)
It is Professor Fuson's view that Chinese charts of Taiwan and Japan were the source of the 1424 portrayal of Antilia and Satanaze. He makes a very persuasive case that such charts are likely to have originated from the seven spectacular voyages of discovery made by the famous Ming admiral Cheng Ho between 1405 and 1433. [...] Much suggests, however, that Robert Fuson is correct to deduce that the charts of Taiwan and Japan that somehow found their way into the hands of Zuane Pizzagano in Venice in 1424 must have originated from the voyages of Cheng Ho. Yet there is a problem. [...] Antilia and Satanaze on the 1424 chart don't show Taiwan and Japan as they looked in the time of Cheng Ho, but rather as they looked approximately 12,500 years ago during the meltdown of the Ice Age. Is it possible that Cheng Ho, too, like Columbus, was guided in his voyages by ancient maps and charts, come down from another time and populated by the ghosts of a drowned world?
Graham Hancock (Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization)
As Sommerfeld said in his famous text "Spectral Lines and Atomic Constitution," on which a generation of physicists learned the subject, "In the fine structure constant e is the representative of the electron theory, h the appropriate representative of the quantum theory, c comes from relativity and characterizes it in contrast to classical theory.
Emilio Segrè (From X Rays To Quarks: Modern Physicists And Their Discoveries)
The distinction between mathematics and science is pretty well settled. It remains mysterious to us why mathematics that is invented for reasons having nothing to do with nature often turns out to be useful in physical theories. In a famous article,8 the physicist Eugene Wigner has written of “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics.
Steven Weinberg (To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science)
the Harveys’ most famous son. An experimental physician famous for his discovery of the circulation of the blood, he had been the personal physician to Charles I and had been present with him at the Battle of Edgehill in 1642. Research in the Harvey family papers has also revealed that he was responsible for the only known scientific examination of a witch’s familiar. Personally ordered by Charles I to examine a lady suspected of witchcraft who lived on the outskirts of Newmarket, the dubious Harvey visited her in the guise of a wizard. He succeeded in capturing and dissecting her pet toad. The animal, Harvey concluded dryly, was a toad.
Sam Willis (The Fighting Temeraire: The Battle of Trafalgar and the Ship that Inspired J.M.W. Turner's Most Beloved Painting)
Robert Liston, a famous surgeon, in setting out to best his own speed record for amputation of the leg, accidentally amputated one of his patient’s testicles and two of his assistant’s fingers.
Robert W. Winters (Accidental Medical Discoveries: How Tenacity and Pure Dumb Luck Changed the World)
The most interesting aspects of the story lie between the two extremes of coercion and popularity. It might be instructive to consider fascist regimes’ management of workers, who were surely the most recalcitrant part of the population. It is clear that both Fascism and Nazism enjoyed some success in this domain. According to Tim Mason, the ultimate authority on German workers under Nazism, the Third Reich “contained” German workers by four means: terror, division, some concessions, and integration devices such as the famous Strength Through Joy (Kraft durch Freude) leisure-time organization. Let there be no doubt that terror awaited workers who resisted directly. It was the cadres of the German Socialist and Communist parties who filled the first concentration camps in 1933, before the Jews. Since socialists and communists were already divided, it was not hard for the Nazis to create another division between those workers who continued to resist and those who decided to try to live normal lives. The suppression of autonomous worker organizations allowed fascist regimes to address workers individually rather than collectively. Soon, demoralized by the defeat of their unions and parties, workers were atomized, deprived of their usual places of sociability, and afraid to confide in anyone. Both regimes made some concessions to workers—Mason’s third device for worker “containment.” They did not simply silence them, as in traditional dictatorships. After power, official unions enjoyed a monopoly of labor representation. The Nazi Labor Front had to preserve its credibility by actually paying some attention to working conditions. Mindful of the 1918 revolution, the Third Reich was willing to do absolutely anything to avoid unemployment or food shortages. As the German economy heated up in rearmament, there was even some wage creep. Later in the war, the arrival of slave labor, which promoted many German workers to the status of masters, provided additional satisfactions. Mussolini was particularly proud of how workers would fare under his corporatist constitution. The Labor Charter (1927) promised that workers and employers would sit down together in a “corporation” for each branch of the economy, and submerge class struggle in the discovery of their common interests. It looked very imposing by 1939 when a Chamber of Corporations replaced parliament. In practice, however, the corporative bodies were run by businessmen, while the workers’ sections were set apart and excluded from the factory floor. Mason’s fourth form of “containment”—integrative devices—was a specialty of fascist regimes. Fascists were past masters at manipulating group dynamics: the youth group, the leisure-time association, party rallies. Peer pressure was particularly powerful in small groups. There the patriotic majority shamed or intimidated nonconformists into at least keeping their mouths shut. Sebastian Haffner recalled how his group of apprentice magistrates was sent in summer 1933 on a retreat, where these highly educated young men, mostly non-Nazis, were bonded into a group by marching, singing, uniforms, and drill. To resist seemed pointless, certain to lead nowhere but to prison and an end to the dreamed-of career. Finally, with astonishment, he observed himself raising his arm, fitted with a swastika armband, in the Nazi salute. These various techniques of social control were successful.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
The two works I allude to, sir, will in particular give a noble rule and example of self-education. School and other education constantly proceed upon false principles, and show a clumsy apparatus pointed at a false mark; but your apparatus is simple, and the mark a true one; and while parents and young persons are left destitute of other just means of estimating and becoming prepared for a reasonable course in life, your discovery that the thing is in many a man's private power, will be invaluable! Influence upon the private character, late in life, is not only an influence late in life, but a weak influence. It is in youth that we plant our chief habits and prejudices; it is in youth that we take our party as to profession, pursuits and matrimony. In youth, therefore, the turn is given; in youth the education even of the next generation is given; in youth the private and public character is determined; and the term of life extending but from youth to age, life ought to begin well from youth, and more especially before we take our party as to our principal objects. But your biography will not merely teach self-education, but the education of a wise man; and the wisest man will receive lights and improve his progress, by seeing detailed the conduct of another wise man. And why are weaker men to be deprived of such helps, when we see our race has been blundering on in the dark, almost without a guide in this particular, from the farthest trace of time? Show then, sir, how much is to be done, both to sons and fathers; and invite all wise men to become like yourself, and other men to become wise. When we see how cruel statesmen and warriors can be to the human race, and how absurd distinguished men can be to their acquaintance, it will be instructive to observe the instances multiply of pacific, acquiescing manners; and to find how compatible it is to be great and domestic, enviable and yet good-humored.
Benjamin Franklin (The Complete Harvard Classics - ALL 71 Volumes: The Five Foot Shelf & The Shelf of Fiction: The Famous Anthology of the Greatest Works of World Literature)
Albus Dumbledore, currently Headmaster of Hogwarts. Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Professor Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon’s blood and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and tenpin bowling.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the *new*. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new: an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto, "Anyone can cook." But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist *can* come from *anywhere*. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.
Brad Bird
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: 'Anyone can cook.' But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.
Brad Bird via Anton Ego
Reggie hired James Lee, an up-and-coming partner at Lee Tran & Liang, as his lawyer in the case. Lee had begun his career as an LAPD detective; when he started studying at Stanford Law School, the Palo Alto campus was so quiet it gave him insomnia. Evan and Bobby still retained Cooley LLP, who responded to Reggie’s letter in May 2012, as their lawyers for Snapchat. The ensuing discovery and depositions cost Snapchat significant time and money, but perhaps most importantly it weighed heavily on Evan at a pivotal point for the company. On April 5, Evan, Bobby, and their attorneys from Cooley, along with Reggie and his attorneys from Lee Tran & Liang, filed into a conference room in Cooley’s offices in downtown Santa Monica. Outside, tourists strolled up and down Santa Monica Boulevard, stopping in the trendy neighborhood’s upscale shops, restaurants, and bars; they might walk down the palm-tree-lined street to the beach or the famous pier. Inside the conference room the temperature was more frigid. Cooley’s Mike Rhodes began deposing Reggie, attempting to establish that Reggie had accomplished little since graduation: “What is your current employment, if any?” “Well, currently I’m working in the South Carolina attorney general’s office.” “And how long have you worked there?” “I guess about a month at this point.” “And what is your position?” “It’s basically an intern/ clerk position.” “Is that a nonpaying position?” “Yes, it is.” “And again, what was your approximate start date?” “A few weeks ago. Probably about a month.” “So early March?” “Yes.” “And what were you doing, if anything, for employment prior to that date?” “Well, I was applying to law school.” “Were you working?” “No.” Reggie became distracted midway through answering a question about which lawyers he had spoken with. A naked man had chosen the sidewalk across from the Cooley office as his performance stage for the day and was gesturing at Reggie through the window. The lawyers hastily closed the blinds and continued the deposition much less eventfully.
Billy Gallagher (How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story)
to wrest oneself from moist, gastric intimacy and fly out over there, beyond oneself, to what is not oneself. To fly over there, to the tree, and yet outside the tree, because it eludes and repels me and I can no more lose myself in it than it can dissolve itself into me: outside it, outside myself … And, in this same process, consciousness is purified and becomes clear as a great gust of wind. There is nothing in it any more, except an impulse to flee itself, a sliding outside itself. If, impossibly, you were to ‘enter’ a consciousness, you would be picked up by a whirlwind and thrown back outside to where the tree is and all the dust, for consciousness has no ‘inside’. It is merely the exterior of itself and it is this absolute flight, this refusal to be substance, that constitute it as a consciousness. Imagine now a linked series of bursts that wrest us from ourselves, that do not even leave an ‘ourself’ the time to form behind them, but rather hurl us out beyond them into the dry dust of the world, on to the rough earth, among things. Imagine we are thrown out in this way, abandoned by our very natures in an indifferent, hostile, resistant world. If you do so, you will have grasped the profound meaning of the discovery Husserl expresses in this famous phrase: ‘All consciousness is consciousness of something.
Sarah Bakewell (At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails)
At first glance, few writers embody this intense solipsism like Lesley Blanch (1904–2007): travel writer, novelist, painter, Vogue editor, socialite, and unashamed orientalist. Blanch’s writing—be it travel narrative, history or biography—was always a form of autobiography. And the women she profiled in her most famous work, 1954’s The Wilder Shores of Love, were Westerners who found themselves drawn to a lushly, if vaguely, drawn East; they always had something of the self-portrait in them. But Blanch’s brilliance lies in her honesty about the subjectivity of her work. For her, travel carries none of Crispin’s “masculine force”: it’s neither an act of discovery nor an explication by an “expert witness,” but the endless attempt to bridge that vast land of otherness with the worlds we’ve created in our own minds, the interior place where our experiences, from the books we’ve read to the people we’ve loved, came to reside long before we first set foot there.
Tara Isabella Burton
The invention of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star,” goes the famous quote from Brillat-Savarin.
Clinton Palanca (The Gullet: Dispatches on Philippine Food)
Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, arguably the greatest discovery in biology in the twentieth century, famously said, “If you want to understand function, study structure.
David J. Linden (Think Tank: Forty Neuroscientists Explore the Biological Roots of Human Experience)
My own belief is that, though they may start by being something of an embarrassment, these new mind changers will tend in the long run to deepen the spiritual life of the communities in which they are available. That famous “revival of religion,” about which so many people have been talking for so long, will not come about as the result of evangelistic mass meetings or the television appearances of photogenic clergymen. It will come about as the result of biochemical discoveries that will make it possible for large numbers of men and women to achieve a radical self-transcendence and a deeper understanding of the nature of things. And this revival of religion will be at the same time a revolution. From being an activity mainly concerned with symbols, religion will be transformed into an activity concerned mainly with experience and intuition—an everyday mysticism underlying and giving significance to everyday rationality, everyday tasks and duties, everyday human relationships.
Brian C. Muraresku (The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name)
Every time we sit down to breakfast, we are likely to be benefiting from a dozen such prehistoric inventions. Who was the first person to figure out that you could make bread rise by the addition of those microorganisms we call yeasts? We have no idea, but we can be almost certain she was a woman and would most likely not be considered ‘white’ if she tried to immigrate to a European country today; and we definitely know her achievement continues to enrich the lives of billions of people. What we also know is that such discoveries were, again, based on centuries of accumulated knowledge and experimentation – recall how the basic principles of agriculture were known long before anyone applied them systematically – and that the results of such experiments were often preserved and transmitted through ritual, games and forms of play (or even more, perhaps, at the point where ritual, games and play shade into each other). ‘Gardens of Adonis’ are a fitting symbol here. Knowledge about the nutritious properties and growth cycles of what would later become staple crops, feeding vast populations – wheat, rice, corn – was initially maintained through ritual play farming of exactly this sort. Nor was this pattern of discovery limited to crops. Ceramics were first invented, long before the Neolithic, to make figurines, miniature models of animals and other subjects, and only later cooking and storage vessels. Mining is first attested as a way of obtaining minerals to be used as pigments, with the extraction of metals for industrial use coming only much later. Mesoamerican societies never employed wheeled transport; but we know they were familiar with spokes, wheels and axles since they made toy versions of them for children. Greek scientists famously came up with the principle of the steam engine, but only employed it to make temple doors that appeared to open of their own accord, or similar theatrical illusions. Chinese scientists, equally famously, first employed gunpowder for fireworks.
David Graeber (The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity)
Knowledge about the nutritious properties and growth cycles of what would later become staple crops, feeding vast populations – wheat, rice, corn – was initially maintained through ritual play farming of exactly this sort. Nor was this pattern of discovery limited to crops. Ceramics were first invented, long before the Neolithic, to make figurines, miniature models of animals and other subjects, and only later cooking and storage vessels. Mining is first attested as a way of obtaining minerals to be used as pigments, with the extraction of metals for industrial use coming only much later. Mesoamerican societies never employed wheeled transport; but we know they were familiar with spokes, wheels and axles since they made toy versions of them for children. Greek scientists famously came up with the principle of the steam engine, but only employed it to make temple doors that appeared to open of their own accord, or similar theatrical illusions. Chinese scientists, equally famously, first employed gunpowder for fireworks.
David Graeber (The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity)
I am just discovering Thomas Hardy. There are two methods of discovery. One is when Columbus discovers America. The other is when someone begins to read a famous author who has already run into seventy editions, and refuses to speak about anything else, and considers every one else who reads the author’s works his own special converts. Mine is the second method. I am more or less Hardy-drunk. Read him, if you ever get hold of him, though he’s dull in places. Of course at Marlborough he is non-existent.
Charles Sorley (Delphi Complete Works of Charles Sorley (Illustrated))
The successful ideas survive scrutiny. The bad ideas get discarded. Conformity is also laughable to scientists attempting to advance their careers. The best way to get famous in your own lifetime is to pose an idea that counters prevailing research and that earns a consistency of observations and experiment. Healthy disagreement is a natural state on the bleeding edge of discovery.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization)
It’s because I have certain standards for the connotations that my name rings and the legacy that I leave behind,” I responded. “When people hear my name, I want them to recognize it for the reasons that I want. I want to be recognized for my intellect, my intellectual discoveries, my writing, my contributions to equality, and other such things. I don’t just want to be recognized for being a converter; I want to be recognized for being who I truly am.” “You want to be famous?” “I would have to be in order for my legacy to be known… but I want to be famous for intellectual change, philosophical contributions, my writing, and my support of equality. I don’t just want to be famous for converting! My life could amount to more than just conversion!
Lucy Carter (The Reformation)