Mile High Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Mile High. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.
Arnold Lobel
You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
Mary Oliver
Rule Forty-two. All persons more than a mile high to leave the court.
Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)
Make no mistake, the woman had a heart. She had a bigger one that people would think. There was a lot in it, stored up, high in miles of hidden shelving. Remember that she was the woman with the instrument strapped to her body in the long, moon-slit night.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
The struggles we endure today will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
There you go, belittling us again. You must know by now that I've never done any of this for anyone else. I was a slut once with my body, but I've never been a slut with my heart.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
Aim high. You may still miss the target, but at least you won't shoot your foot off.
Lois McMaster Bujold (Miles in Love (Vorkosigan Omnibus, #6))
I mean, d'you know what eternity is? There's this big mountain, see, a mile high, at the end of the universe, and once every thousand years there's this little bird-" -"What little bird?" said Aziraphale suspiciously. -"This little bird I'm talking about. And every thousand years-" -"The same bird every thousand years?" -Crowley hesitated. "Yeah," he said. -"Bloody ancient bird, then." -"Okay. And every thousand years this bird flies-" -"-limps-" -"-flies all the way to this mountain and sharpens its beak-" -"Hold on. You can't do that. Between here and the end of the universe there's loads of-" The angel waved a hand expansively, if a little unsteadily. "Loads of buggerall, dear boy." -"But it gets there anyway," Crowley persevered. -"How?" -"It doesn't matter!" -"It could use a space ship," said the angel. Crowley subsided a bit. "Yeah," he said. "If you like. Anyway, this bird-" -"Only it is the end of the universe we're talking about," said Aziraphale. "So it'd have to be one of those space ships where your descendants are the ones who get out at the other end. You have to tell your descendants, you say, When you get to the Mountain, you've got to-" He hesitated. "What have they got to do?" -"Sharpen its beak on the mountain," said Crowley. "And then it flies back-" -"-in the space ship-" -"And after a thousand years it goes and does it all again," said Crowley quickly. There was a moment of drunken silence. -"Seems a lot of effort just to sharpen a beak," mused Aziraphale. -"Listen," said Crowley urgently, "the point is that when the bird has worn the mountain down to nothing, right, then-" Aziraphale opened his mouth. Crowley just knew he was going to make some point about the relative hardness of birds' beaks and granite mountains, and plunged on quickly. -"-then you still won't have finished watching The Sound of Music." Aziraphale froze. -"And you'll enjoy it," Crowley said relentlessly. "You really will." -"My dear boy-" -"You won't have a choice." -"Listen-" -"Heaven has no taste." -"Now-" -"And not one single sushi restaurant." A look of pain crossed the angel's suddenly very serious face.
Neil Gaiman (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
I don't feel alone with you. I feel like I have a family and a home again. You're my home. All of the dark shadows seem to disappear when we're together.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
People with a high tolerance for boredom can get a lot of thinking done.
Stephen King (Bag of Bones/the Green Mile/the Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (set of 3))
Careful, Love. You can't offer a starving man a feast and expect him not to take you up on it.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
Meet my future. Her name is Bianca. Come to terms with it. My advice would be to get on her good side.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
It's in those quiet little towns, at the edge of the world, that you will find the salt of the earth people who make you feel right at home.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
On a scale of one to ten, what was he?" "How would, 'I want him to fuck me to death, and he just might', rate on that scale?
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. . . . History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened. My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder's jacket . . . booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change) . . . but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that. . . . There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. . . . You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . . And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . . So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
I want to deserve you, my love.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
Those who achieve the extraordinary are usually the most ordinary because they have nothing to prove to anybody. Be Humble.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
This was a nightmare scenario for any bodyguard: stuck in the middle of a transparent tube, several miles underwater, with a murdering band of fugitives at one end and an enthralled but still highly skilled police officer at the other.
Eoin Colfer (The Atlantis Complex (Artemis Fowl #7))
His soul was a mirror of my own.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
I wondered how my heart could be both light with happiness and heavy with love at the same time.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
Knowing and feeling were two very different things.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
I never thought I'd have the urge to fuck someone to death.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
You're more precious than my own life to me, Bianca.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
Bitch be cray cray. --Murphy
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
Million-mile-high club,” Martinez said. “Nice!
Andy Weir (The Martian)
There's no room in perfection for insecurity.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
To shut your eyes is to guess nothing of blindness. Beneath your world of skies and faces and buildings exists a rawer and older world, a place where surface planes disintegrate and sounds ribbon in shoals through the air. Marie-Laure can sit in an attic high above the street and hear lilies rustling in marshes two miles away. She hears Americans scurry across farm fields, directing their huge cannons at the smoke of Saint-Malo; she hears families sniffling around hurricane lamps in cellars, crows hopping from pile to pile, flies landing on corpses in ditches; she hears the tamarinds shiver and the jays shriek and the dune grass burn; she feels the great granite fist, sunk deep into the earth’s crust, on which Saint-Malo sits, and the ocean teething at it from all four sides, and the outer islands holding steady against the swirling tides; she hears cows drink from stone troughs and dolphins rise through the green water of the Channel; she hears the bones of dead whales stir five leagues below, their marrow offering a century of food for cities of creatures who will live their whole lives and never once see a photon sent from the sun. She hears her snails in the grotto drag their bodies over the rocks.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
I can’t change my past, Bianca. All I can do is be honest with you, and I’ve done my best.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
You ready to leave now? I don’t find the idea of fucking you against that wall behind you even slightly unpleasant. Exhibitionism has never been a problem for me. Is that something you’d like to try?
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
High in the North in a land called Svithjod there is a mountain. It is a hundred miles long and a hundred miles high and once every thousand years a little bird comes to this mountain to sharpen its beak. When the mountain has thus been worn away a single day of eternity will have passed.
Hendrik Willem van Loon (The Story of Mankind)
Share and Enjoy' is the company motto of the hugely successful Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints Division, which now covers the major land masses of three medium-sized planets and is the only part of the Corporation to have shown a consistent profit in recent years. The motto stands-- or rather stood-- in three mile high illuminated letters near the Complaints Department spaceport on Eadrax. Unfortunately its weight was such that shortly after it was erected, the ground beneath the letters caved in and they dropped for nearly half their length through the offices of many talented young Complaints executives-- now deceased. The protruding upper halves of the letters now appear, in the local language, to read "Go stick your head in a pig," and are no longer illuminated, except at times of special celebration.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1-5))
He had an angel's face, but his eyes were so hypnotically tarnished, a mirror of my own pain in their depths.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
I wouldn't say that my emotions are extreme. I'd say they are committed. My moods are the equivalent of Madonna's dancing: inappropriate but all-out. If I'm going to be sad, I might as well be the saddest a girl can get. And if I'm happy, I want to be the happiest. The trouble is, I feel highs so ecstatic that just being normal feels like a thousand-mile drop and being unhappy is excruciating.
Emma Forrest
Unfortunately, the Best Lord had condemned both vehicles as unsafe and instead I now leased a Pack Jeep I called Hector. Equipped with dual engines, Hector worked during magic or tech. He didn't go very fast, especially during magic, but so far he hadn't stalled on me either. As long as our high-speed chases stayed under forty-five miles an hour, we would be all set.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5))
You are special. You're the most special person in the world to me.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
The angel popped his already mile high collar. "She said she wanted the holiest thing in the house to do it." "She got holey, all right," somebody muttered. "Is that Butche's Bible?" V asked. The angel flashed the goods. "Yup, and his BoC, he called it? I also got a sermon I did myself." "Saints preserve us," came from the opposite side of the crowd. "Wait, Wait, Wait." V waved his hand rolled around. "I'm the son of a deity and she picked you?
J.R. Ward (The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood #12))
With him being so charming, and so perfect, so heart-achingly beautiful, but tarnished in all of the right places, and in all of the ways that I understood so well, how could I not love him?
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
The things he made me feel had opened a floodgate, and the damned thing wouldn't close.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
It takes your knowing to decide on your going. If you know where you are going, you will keep going because you have already seen yourself gone
Israelmore Ayivor
There's a fine line between fiction and non-fiction and I think I snorted it somewhere in 1979
Kinky Friedman (The Mile High Club (Kinky Friedman, #13))
Some of these guys will go on walking long after the laws of biochemistry and handicapping have gone by the boards. There was a guy last year that crawled for two miles at four miles an hour after both of his feet cramped up at the same time, you remember reading about that? Look at Olson, he's worn out but he keeps going. That goddam Barkovitch is running on high-octane hate and he just keeps going and he's as fresh as a daisy. I don't think I can do that. I'm not tired -not really tired- yet. But I will be." The scar stood out on the side of his haggard face as he looked ahead into the darkness "And I think... when I get tired enough... I think I'll just sit down
Stephen King (The Long Walk)
The most peaceful thing in the world is plowing a field. Chances are you’ll do your best thinking that way. And that’s why I’ve always thought and said, farmers are the smartest people in the world, they don’t go for high hats and they can spot a phony a mile off.
Harry Truman
She didn't see him at first. She was watching the dancers. Her color was high, and there were deep dimples at the corners of her mouth. She looked nine miles out of place, but he had never loved her more. This was Willa on the edge of a smile.
Stephen King (Just After Sunset)
High School: Oh, man. This is where boys and girls go from tweens to teens and become complicated and cruel. Girls play sick mind games; boys try to pull each other's penises off and throw them in the bushes. If you can, buy the most expensive jeans in a two-hundred-mile radius of your town and wear them on your first day. If anyone asks how you could afford them say that your father is the president of Ashton Kutcher. When they are like, 'Ashton Kutcher has a president?' answer, 'Yes.' Everyone will be in awe of you and you won't have to go through a lot of pain and cat fights.
Eugene Mirman (The Will to Whatevs: A Guide to Modern Life)
Jimmy: One day, when I'm no longer spending my days running a sweet-stall, I may write a book about us all. It's all here. (slapping his forehead) Written in flames a mile high. And it won't be recollected in tranquillity either, picking daffodils with Auntie Wordsworth. It'll be recollected in fire, and blood. My blood.
John Osborne (Look Back in Anger)
I don't care if you're so poor you live in a cardboard box, if you fail to graduate high school, or if thousands of miles try to separate us. I'll always love you just as much as i do now.
Samantha Gudger (A Game Worth Watching (Worth Series, #1))
Come live with me and be my love And we will all the pleasures prove Of a marriage conducted with economy In the Twentieth Century Anno Donomy. We’ll live in a dear little walk-up flat With practically room to swing a cat And a potted cactus to give it hauteur And a bathtub equipped with dark brown water. We’ll eat, without undue discouragement, Foods low in cost but high in nouragement And quaff with pleasure, while chatting wittily, The peculiar wine of Little Italy. We’ll remind each other it’s smart to be thrifty And buy our clothes for something-fifty. We’ll bus for miles on holidays For seas at depressing matinees, And every Sunday we’ll have a lark And take a walk in Central Park. And one of these days not too remote You’ll probably up and cut my throat.
Ogden Nash (Hard Lines)
You're my angel, Bianca. You've exorcised my demons. I don't have nightmares when I'm with you. I don't have to work seventy hour work weeks to keep my mind distracted. My life has become more than work and emotionless affairs. You make me a better man.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
Do you love me?" 
"You know I do." "How much?" 
"Miles and Miles."
 "Deeper than the oceans?"
 "Yup. More than the wind." 
"Higher than Everest?" 
"I don't know, that's pretty high... Ow!" (laughter) 
"Admit it. You love me more than anyone." 
 "Maybe." "What about you - how much do you love me?"
 "Enough." 
 "Hey!" 
"You didn't ask, 'Enough for what?'" 
"Fine, then. Enough for what?" 
 "For Anything." 
 "That's Better.
Abigail Haas (Dangerous Girls)
I felt him sigh against me. “It was. But it didn’t mean anything. Please don’t use her to keep me at a distance”…
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
Because of their sacred gift of translating and embodying energy, empaths are able to spot their soul mates or twin flames a mile away.
Aletheia Luna (Awakened Empath: The Ultimate Guide to Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual Healing)
He smelled so good that I felt my eyelids drift closed with the pleasure of his scent. It was so good that I wanted to put a name to it, and bottle it up. - Mile High
R.K. Lilley
Seventeen moons, seventeen years, Eyes where Dark ot Light appears, Gold for yes and Green for no, Seventeen the last to know... Seventeen moons, seventeen turns, Eyes so dark and bright it burns, Time is high but one is higher, Draws the moon into the fire... Seventeen moon, seventeen fears, Pain of death and shame of tears, Find the marker, walk the mile, Seventeen knows just exile... Seventeen moons, seventeen spheres, The moon before her time appears, Hearts will go and stars will follow, One is broken, One is hollow... Seventeen moons, seventeen years Know the loss, stay the fears Wait for him and he appears Seventeen moons, seventeen tears...
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2))
It makes me feel special. I find that I love it. I find that I love everything you do to me.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
You were not created to come to this earth and say "me too I came to live some". You were create to make a difference!
Israelmore Ayivor
when you want something so desperately, you shake with the need for it. you tell yourself that you don't need more than one sip, because it's just the taste you crave, and once it's on your tongue you will be able to make it last alifetime. you dream of it at night. you see a thousand mile-high obstacles between where you stand and what you want, and you convince yourself you have the power to hurdle them. you tell yourself this even when, leaping the first block, you wind up bruised and bloodied and flattened.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
I want to share my life with you, to be monogamous with you, and my past is in the past. I wish there was some way I could prove it to you, once and for all. I do have a sordid past, but I’ve never lied to any of the women I’ve been with, and I’ve never promised to anyone the things I promise to you.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
The Voyager We are all lonely voyagers sailing on life's ebb tide, To a far off place were all stripling warriors have died, Sometime at eve when the tide is low, The voices call us back to the rippling water's flow, Even though our boat sailed with love in our hearts, Neither our dreams or plans would keep heaven far apart, We drift through the hush of God's twilight pale, With no response to our friendly hail, We raise our sails and search for majestic light, While finding company on this journey to the brighten our night, Then suddenly he pulls us through the reef's cutting sea, Back to the place that he asked us to be, Friendly barges that were anchored so sweetly near, In silent sorrow they drop their salted tears, Shall our soul be a feast of kelp and brine, The wasted tales of wishful time, Are we a fish on a line lured with bait, Is life the grind, a heartless fate, Suddenly, "HUSH", said the wind from afar, Have you not looked to the heavens and seen the new star, It danced on the abyss of the evening sky, The sparkle of heaven shining on high, Its whisper echoed on the ocean's spray, From the bow to the mast they heard him say, "Hope is above, not found in the deep, I am alive in your memories and dreams when you sleep, I will greet you at sunset and with the moon's evening smile, I will light your path home.. every last lonely mile, My friends, have no fear, my work was done well, In this life I broke the waves and rode the swell, I found faith in those that I called my crew, My love will be the compass that will see you through, So don't look for me on the ocean's floor to find, I've never left the weathered docks of your loving mind, For I am in the moon, the wind and the whale's evening song, I am the sailor of eternity whose voyage is not gone.
Shannon L. Alder
The smell of the sea swept over the wall and in through the empty window-hole, wide and wild with a million intoxicating secrets. I don't trust that smell. It hooks us somewhere deeper than reason or civilization, in the fragments of our cells that rocked in oceans before we had minds, and it pulls till we follow mindlessly as rutting animals....It lures us to leap off high cliffs, fling ourselves on towering waves, leaves behind everyone we love and face into thousands of miles of open water for the sake of what might be on the far shore.
Tana French (Broken Harbour (Dublin Murder Squad, #4))
What must it be, then, to bear the manifold tortures of hell forever? Forever! For all eternity! Not for a year or an age but forever. Try to imagine the awful meaning of this. You have often seen the sand on the seashore. How fine are its tiny grains! And how many of those tiny grains go to make up the small handful which a child grasps in its play. Now imagine a mountain of that sand, a million miles high, reaching from the earth to the farthest heavens, and a million miles broad, extending to remotest space, and a million miles in thickness, and imagine such an enormous mass of countless particles of sand multiplied as often as there are leaves in the forest, drops of water in the mighty ocean, feathers on birds, scales on fish, hairs on animals, atoms in the vast expanse of air. And imagine that at the end of every million years a little bird came to that mountain and carried away in its beak a tiny grain of that sand. How many millions upon millions of centuries would pass before that bird had carried away even a square foot of that mountain, how many eons upon eons of ages before it had carried away all. Yet at the end of that immense stretch time not even one instant of eternity could be said to have ended. At the end of all those billions and trillions of years eternity would have scarcely begun. And if that mountain rose again after it had been carried all away again grain by grain, and if it so rose and sank as many times as there are stars in the sky, atoms in the air, drops of water in the sea, leaves on the trees, feathers upon birds, scales upon fish, hairs upon animals – at the end of all those innumerable risings and sinkings of that immeasurably vast mountain not even one single instant of eternity could be said to have ended; even then, at the end of such a period, after that eon of time, the mere thought of which makes our very brain reel dizzily, eternity would have scarcely begun.
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
I'll do it. I said I would. And, though I can't deny I've never thought of doing something like that, it appeals to me simply because yo want it so badly. I can't seem to help myself. I want to please you. I love to please you.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
As they walked, the subtle lamplight of a dirigible washed over them. Finley glanced up, watching the light grow closer, slowly descending from the sky in a whirl of propellers as the ship made its way into the London air dock just a few miles away. How amazing it must be to float so high, to travel so quickly. Dandy followed her gaze, but they didn’t stop walking. “I was up in one of them flyers once,” he told her. “I climbed over the rail and hung on to one of the ropes. Freeing it was. I almost let go.” She whipped her head around to gape at him. “The fall would kill you.” He smiled ever so slightly. “Not afore I flew. Worse ways to go.
Kady Cross (The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1))
It's been very clearly brought to my attention that I had overlooked your security in public restrooms.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
Leave the talking for others and live by walking. Go, go and go extra mile and you will be a true owner of what belongs to you
Israelmore Ayivor
I would have given anything to have him feel the way he looked at me when he was deep inside of me.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
My daughter squealed again and both Bubba and I winced. It’s not an attractive sound, that. It’s high-pitched and it enters your ear canals like hot glass. No matter how much I love my daughter, I will never love her squealing. Or maybe I will. Maybe I do. Driving down 93, I realized once and for all, that I love the things that chafe. The things that fill me with stress so total I can’t remember when a block of it didn’t rest on top of my heart. I love what, if broken, can’t be repaired. What, if lost can’t be replaced. I love my burdens.
Dennis Lehane (Moonlight Mile (Kenzie & Gennaro,#6))
At the end of the world is a great big mountain of granite rock a mile high,' she said. 'And every year, a tiny bird flies all the way to the rock and wipes its beak on it. Well, when the little bird has worn the mountain down to the size of a grain of sand . . . that's the day I'll marry you, Rob Anybody Feegle!
Terry Pratchett (The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30; Tiffany Aching, #1))
Not far from this village, perhaps about two miles, there is a little valley or rather lap of land among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail or tapping of a woodpecker is almost the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquillity.
Washington Irving (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)
Now, now, Auntie, you had better play nice with my dearest Bianca. I have not invited her to live in one of my homes. I have welcomed her into all of them. And though I know it would break your heart if anything were to ever happen to me, you will be beholden to this angel to cover your living expenses when I pass away, as she will be my sole inheritor.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
Why don’t high school math teachers ever come up with cool problems like this? If a 150-pound Irish wolfhound launches himself at seventeen miles per hour at a 250-pound draugr, will that dead motherfucker go down? The answer is Hel yes.
Kevin Hearne (Tricked (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #4))
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))
This is ridiculous. I wouldn't ask that of you. I would be distraught if you even suggested it. You aren't just my sub, Bianca. This is much more than just a physical relationship. I feel utterly possessive of you. If someone touched you the way I touch you, male or female, I would lose my mind.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
Don't foist your body image issues on me, mate. I'm sexy. When I want a six pack, I go to the liquor store.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
For the admission price of $543.90, they were inducted into the exclusive Mile High Club, and it was worth every last penny.
Ella Frank (Try (Temptation, #1))
Night after night on starry wings Night lovers soared so high Miles apart, across the oceans Their love forgot to sigh In heavenly flight’s timelessness That highest height treasured Into the deepest of all blues Their depth of love measured. From the poem 'The Ballad of Night Lovers
Munia Khan (To Evince the Blue)
When God calls you to build 100 castles on earth and you built 98, take the 99th as if it's the begining of your work and work hard to finish the race with all excellence. Go the extra mile!
Israelmore Ayivor
Deep Song Belief is what buries us—that & the belief in belief— No longer do I trust liltlessness —leeward is the world's way—Go on plunge in —the lungs will let us float. Joy is the mile- high ledge the leap—a breath above the lip of the abandoned quarry—belief the dark the deep.
Kevin Young (Jelly Roll)
Wild Geese" You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
Mary Oliver (Dream Work)
984; 85; 3; 63;, 1,000,000 The Eiffel Tower is nine hundred eighty-four feet high. On a clear day, you can see eighty-five miles from the top. It has three elevators. Each elevator can carry sixty-three people. It cost about one million dollars to build Eiffel Tower.
Suzy Kline
Iwent to school with African-American girls during my entire adolescence in Michigan and never noticed them as potential girlfriends, never even wanted to meet them. How did that happen? I'm nine thousand miles from home and a pernicious wall of segregation I never noticed in high school suddenly materialises. A young man should travel.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
Listen, baby Ain't no mountain high Ain't no valley low Ain't no river wide enough, baby If you need me, call me No matter where you are No matter how far Just call my name I'll be there in a hurry You don't have to worry 'Cause baby, There ain't no mountain high enough Ain't no valley low enough Ain't no river wide enough To keep me from getting to you Remember the day I set you free I told you You could always count on me From that day on I made a vow I'll be there when you want me Some way,some how 'Cause baby, There ain't no mountain high enough Ain't no valley low enough Ain't no river wide enough To keep me from getting to you No wind, no rain My love is alive Way down in my heart Although we are miles apart If you ever need a helping hand I'll be there on the double As fast as I can Don't you know that There ain't no mountain high enough Ain't no valley low enough Ain't no river wide enough To keep me from getting to you Don't you know that There ain't no mountain high enough Ain't no valley low enough Ain't no river wide enough
Marvin Gaye
A couple can be quite intimate without sharing bodies - though you will likely not believe that, my Cam. But it can be true. What I feel for you is highly intense, whether you are standing next to me or living a hundred miles away. I do not have to be touching you at all to experience what I feel.
Jennifer Ashley (The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (MacKenzies & McBrides, #3))
Sometimes I just wonder what constitutes a really exciting life. Maybe we're all just lost souls looking for something that simply doesn't exist?
Marisa Mackle
You can't look prim and righteous wearing a microscopic miniskirt and mile-high heels. Well it's pretty hard, anyway.
Meg Cabot (Cosmo's Sexiest Stories Ever: Three Naughty Tales)
When you aspire to inspire before you expire, you conspire to inspire even after you pause to respire. Keep pushing it!
Israelmore Ayivor
If you let your man-made actions to be more frequent than your man-said words you will travail with praise in man-win visions. Do more, say less, win big.
Israelmore Ayivor
I myself have dreamed up a structure intermediate between Dyson spheres and planets. Build a ring 93 million miles in radius - one Earth orbit - around the sun. If we have the mass of Jupiter to work with, and if we make it a thousand miles wide, we get a thickness of about a thousand feet for the base. And it has advantages. The Ringworld will be much sturdier than a Dyson sphere. We can spin it on its axis for gravity. A rotation speed of 770 m/s will give us a gravity of one Earth normal. We wouldn't even need to roof it over. Place walls one thousand miles high at each edge, facing the sun. Very little air will leak over the edges. Lord knows the thing is roomy enough. With three million times the surface area of the Earth, it will be some time before anyone complains of the crowding.
Larry Niven
The spearhead sliced right through to the flesh, And when Diomedes pulled it out, Ares yelled, so loud you would have thought Ten thousand warriors had shouted at once, And the sound reverberated in the guts of Greeks and Trojans, As if Diomedes had struck not a god in armor But a bronze gong nine miles high.
Homer (The Iliad)
Why did you stop looking for it?” “Secrets of mesmerism?” Magic Mama scoffs. “Look around, Kusha. The place you’re in gives you some problems. You either solve the problem or stay with it as it is. But whichever path you choose, it shapes your purpose. Maybe my purpose is more earthly: dealing with a gutter, getting water from a fall miles away. I’m aging. I don’t have time to earn more time, Kusha. I don’t have time for philosophies.
Misba (The High Auction (Wisdom Revolution, #1))
High up in the North in the land called Svithjod, there stands a rock. It is a hundred miles high and a hundred miles wide. Once every thousand years a little bird comes to this rock to sharpen its beak. When the rock has thus been worn away, then a single day of eternity will have gone by. —Hendrik Willem Van Loon
Randall Munroe (What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions)
These bugs are from Jurassic Park.” He swings his arms around to get them off him. “No bugs are this big.” I go back to my instructions. Okay, so it says here that this pole goes into this . . . “Ahh,” he cries as he slaps his arm. “I’m getting fucking malaria over here, Emily.” I roll my eyes. “Stop being a baby.” I put the pole into the correct place. “Can you grab the corner and stretch it out, please?
T.L. Swan (The Stopover (The Miles High Club, #1))
And so I would like to thank you. You taught me, again and again again and again and again, not to dream of you. And I listened. I am silent. These words are not words of love, but of the silence that will remain when I walk away when this letter is done. I have listened and I do not continue to imagine our love, for it was not love. You were too busy walking a flowered path, and it was my misstep that I thought we had something more than an hour’s fun for you. Thank you, for clarifying for me what love is not. Love is no thing, and nothing is a gift, space is a playground, and time and distance are merely peaks and valleys in the topography of real love. And I would remind you: I am not one of your fans. For I know what I deserve, and it is one who is not afraid of fear. Love does not require this map: it makes its way across the miles. Love does not heed the time; it is not rooted in the months of one or two moons. Love is not bothered by obstacles—they form the high sides to the left and right of this rocky path. This path does not depend upon external signs: love will find its own way.
Waylon H. Lewis (Things I Would Like To Do With You)
There seems to be a vicious cycle at work here, making ours not just an economy but a culture of extreme inequality. Corporate decision makers, and even some two-bit entrepreneurs like my boss at The Maids, occupy an economic position miles above that of the underpaid people whose labor they depend on. For reasons that have more to do with class — and often racial — prejudice than with actual experience, they tend to fear and distrust the category of people from which they recruit their workers. Hence the perceived need for repressive management and intrusive measures like drug and personality testing. But these things cost money — $20,000 or more a year for a manager, $100 a pop for a drug test, and so on — and the high cost of repression results in ever more pressure to hold wages down. The larger society seems to be caught up in a similar cycle: cutting public services for the poor, which are sometimes referred to collectively as the 'social wage,' while investing ever more heavily in prisons and cops. And in the larger society, too, the cost of repression becomes another factor weighing against the expansion or restoration of needed services. It is a tragic cycle, condemning us to ever deeper inequality, and in the long run, almost no one benefits but the agents of repression themselves.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America)
Make no mistake, the woman (Rosa) had a heart. She had a bigger one than people would think. There was a lot in it, stored up, high in miles of hidden shelving.
Markus Zusak
to glance through my five thousand emails
T.L. Swan (The Stopover (The Miles High Club, #1))
A thousand-mile journey begins with the first step” and can only be taken one step at a time.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
His laws changed all of physics and astronomy. His laws made it possible to calculate the mass of the sun and planets. The way it's done is immensely beautiful. If you know the orbital period of any planet, say, Jupiter or the Earth and you know its distance to the Sun; you can calculate the mass of the Sun. Doesn't this sound like magic? We can carry this one step further - if you know the orbital period of one of Jupiter's bright moons, discovered by Galileo in 1609, and you know the distance between Jupiter and that moon, you can calculate the mass of Jupiter. Therefore, if you know the orbital period of the moon around the Earth (it's 27.32 days), and you know the mean distance between the Earth and the moon (it's about 200,039 miles), then you can calculate to a high degree of accuracy the mass of the Earth. … But Newton's laws reach far beyond our solar system. They dictate and explain the motion of stars, binary stars, star clusters, galaxies and even clusters of galaxies. And Newton's laws deserve credit for the 20th century discovery of what we call dark matter. His laws are beautiful. Breathtakingly simple and incredibly powerful at the same time. They explain so much and the range of phenomena they clarify is mind boggling. By bringing together the physics of motion, of interaction between objects and of planetary movements, Newton brought a new kind of order to astronomical measurements, showing how, what had been a jumble of confused observations made through the centuries were all interconnected.
Walter Lewin
Now consider the tortoise and the eagle. The tortoise is a ground-living creature. It is impossible to live nearer the ground without being under it. Its horizons are a few inches away. It has about as good a turn of speed as you need to hunt down a lettuce. It has survived while the rest of evolution flowed past it by being, on the whole, no threat to anyone and too much trouble to eat. And then there is the eagle. A creature of the air and high places, whose horizons go all the way to the edge of the world. Eyesight keen enough to spot the rustle of some small and squeaky creature half a mile away. All power, all control. Lightning death on wings. Talons and claws enough to make a meal of anything smaller than it is and at least take a hurried snack out of anything bigger. And yet the eagle will sit for hours on the crag and survey the kingdoms of the world until it spots a distant movement and then it will focus, focus, focus on the small shell wobbling among the bushes down there on the desert. And it will leap… And a minute later the tortoise finds the world dropping away from it. And it sees the world for the first time, no longer one inch from the ground but five hundred feet above it, and it thinks: what a great friend I have in the eagle. And then the eagle lets go. And almost always the tortoise plunges to its death. Everyone knows why the tortoise does this. Gravity is a habit that is hard to shake off. No one knows why the eagle does this. There’s good eating on a tortoise but, considering the effort involved, there’s much better eating on practically anything else. It’s simply the delight of eagles to torment tortoises. But of course, what the eagle does not realize is that it is participating in a very crude form of natural selection. One day a tortoise will learn how to fly.
Terry Pratchett (Small Gods (Discworld, #13))
The back windows looked out over the fields, then the Atlantic, maybe a hundred yards away. Actually, I'm just making that bit up. I had no idea how far away the sea was. Only men could do things like that. "Half a mile." "Fifty yards." Giving directions, that sort of thing. I could look at a woman and say "Thirty-six C." Or "Let's try it in the next size up." But I had no idea how far away Tim's sea was except that I wouldn't want to walk to it in high heels.
Marian Keyes
My biggest fear in life is to exist without living. I’m not quite sure what I mean by that but I’d rather die than just plod along without a map. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’ve got everything worked out. Admittedly I’m not sure where I’m going, but I’m determined to get there all the same.
Marisa Mackle (The Mile High Guy)
The Roman Road is the greatest monument ever raised to human liberty by a noble and generous people. It runs across mountain, marsh and river. It is built broad, straight and firm. It joins city with city and nation with nation. It is tens of thousands of miles long, and always thronged with grateful travellers. And while the Great Pyramid, a few hundred feet high and wide, awes sight-seers to silence—though it is only the rifled tomb of an ignoble corpse and a monument of oppression and misery, so that no doubt in viewing it you may still seem to hear the crack of the taskmaster's whip and the squeals and groans of the poor workmen struggling to set a huge block of stone into position——
Robert Graves (Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina (Claudius, #2))
At the center of all that is Russia - of its culture, its psychology, and, perhaps, its destiny - stands the Kremlin, a walled fortress a thousand years old and four hundred miles from the sea. Physically speaking, its walls are no longer high enough to fend off attack, and yet, they still cast a shadow across the entire country.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
When I was young, I thought it was thunder that kills people. But when I learnt physics in St. Paul's High School, I discovered that it is rather the lightning that does the killing. The voice of the thunder itself is just a noise. The lightning is the poise. I learnt to take the course of my life, not by violence but rather with intelligence.
Israelmore Ayivor
it is indeed possible for humans to copulate in weightlessness. However, they have trouble staying together. The covert researchers discovered that it helped to have a third person to push at the right time in the right place. The anonymous researchers…discovered that this is the way dolphins do it. A third dolphin is always present during the mating process. This led to the creation of the space-going equivalent of aviation’s Mile High Club known as the Three Dolphin Club. Stine
Mary Roach (Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void)
Really?” he whispers as the flight attendant walks past us. “Excuse me, can we have two more champagnes, please?” he asks her. “Of course, sir.” His eyes come back to meet mine. “Well, do tell. What was your first impression of me?” I pretend to look around for Jessica the flight attendant. “You may need something stronger to drink to hear this, Jim. You’re not going to like it.” He laughs out loud, and I find myself smiling broadly as I watch him. “What’s funny?” I ask. “You are.” “Why am I funny?” I frown. “This sense of righteousness that you have.” “Oh, like you don’t have that too . . . Mr. I’ll Have Two Champagnes.” Our drinks arrive, and he smiles as he passes mine to me. His eyes linger on my face as he takes a sip.
T.L. Swan (The Stopover (The Miles High Club, #1))
His master plan to get them all out the door early met its first check of the day when he opened his closet door to discover that Zap the Cat, having penetrated the security of Vorkosigan House through Miles's quisling cook, had made a nest on the floor among his boots and fallen clothing to have kittens. Six of them. Zap ignored his threats about the dire consequences of attacking an Imperial Auditor, and purred and growled from the dimness in her usual schizophrenic fashion. Miles gathered his nerve and rescued his best boots and House uniform, at a cost of some high Vor blood, and sent them downstairs for a hasty cleaning by the overworked Armsman Pym. The Countess, delighted as ever to find her biological empire increasing, came in thoughtfully bearing a cat-gourmet tray prepared by Ma Kosti that Miles would have had no hesitation in eating for his own breakfast. In the general chaos of the morning, however, he had to go down to the kitchen and scrounge his meal. The Countess sat on the floor and cooed into his closet for a good half-hour, and not only escaped laceration, but managed to pick up, sex, and name the whole batch of little squirming furballs before tearing herself away to hurry and dress.
Lois McMaster Bujold (Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10))
The water was tripping over itself, splashing and hypnotizing, and I tried to fix my mind on a chunk of it, like each little ripple was a life that began far away in a high mountain source and had traveled miles pushing forward until it arrived at this spot before my eyes, and now without hesitation that water-life was hurling itself over the cliff. I wanted my body in all that swiftness; I wanted to feel the slip and pull of the currents and be dashed and pummeled on the rocks below . . .
Justin Torres (We the Animals)
Every time the women appear, Snowman is astonished all over again. They're every known colour from the deepest black to whitest white, they're various heights, but each one of them is admirably proportioned. Each is sound of tooth, smooth of skin. No ripples of fat around their waists, no bulges, no dimpled orange-skin cellulite on their thighs. No body hair, no bushiness. They look like retouched fashion photos, or ads for a high priced workout program. Maybe this is the reason that these women arouse in Snowman not even the faintest stirrings of lust. It was the thumbprints of human imperfection that used to move him, the flaws in the design: the lopsided smile, the wart next to the navel, the mole, the bruise. These were the places he'd single out, putting his mouth on them. Was it consolation he'd had in mind, kissing the wound to make it better? There was always an element of melancholy involved in sex. After his indiscriminate adolescence he'd preferred sad women, delicate and breakable, women who'd been messed up and who needed him. He'd liked to comfort them, stroke them gently at first, reassure them. Make them happier, if only for a moment. Himself too, of course; that was the payoff. A grateful woman would go the extra mile. But these new women are neither lopsided nor sad: they're placid, like animated statues. They leave him chilled.
Margaret Atwood (Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1))
Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing that person who’s struggling to lose weight who thinks that they need to run 20 miles a week. They have no desire to do it, their knees hurt, they hate it, and they’re not losing weight. And I’d like to say, ‘Well, I’ve got great news for you. You don’t ever need to run another step a day in your life, because there’s no value in that.’ “There is value in exercise, though, and I think that the most important type of exercise, especially in terms of bang for your buck, is going to be really high-intensity, heavy strength training. Strength training aids everything from glucose disposal and metabolic health to mitochondrial density and orthopedic stability. That last one might not mean much when you’re a 30-something young buck, but when you’re in your 70s, that’s the difference between a broken hip and a walk in the park.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
I shot him an arch look over my shoulder. “Are you always hard?” He gave a little shrug. “I can’t watch you straddle something and grind yourself against it and not get turned on. So sue me.” He gripped my h*ps tight, grinding against me from behind.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
The fact that novels and films about confidence tricksters are usually highly successful is based on the observation that the topical and temporary creation of micro-realities (or ‘tricks’) is not a million miles away from what we’re all doing every day.
Momus (Herr F (Everything Living Forever Is Screaming Forever))
Two hours later, my ears were burned to twin crisps, and I owed him forty miles. Bones was in high spirit. Why wouldn’t he be? He had just hypothetically fucked me into incomprehension. Tartly I asked him if he wanted a cigarette when he was finished, and he informed me with a laugh that he’d quit smoking. Heard it wasn’t good for his health. God, the man amused himself with his own jokes.
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
When Sadik lost his own lease, we moved in together. And after a few months of closer scrutiny, he began to realize that the city had indeed had an effect on me, although not the one he’d expected. I stopped getting high. I ran three miles a day and fasted on Sundays. For the first time in years, I applied myself to my studies and started keeping a journal of daily reflections and very bad poetry.
Barack Obama (Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance)
Like a wave that has been building it's strength over a thousand miles of ocean, and which makes little stir in the deep water, but which, when it reaches the shallows rears itself high up into the sky, terrifying the shore dwellers, before crashing down on land with irresistible power - so Iorek Byrnison rose up against Iofur, exploding upward from his firm footing on the dry rock and slashing with a ferocious left hand at the exposed jaw of Iofur Raknison.
Philip Pullman
It goes something like this: I am one person among 6.5 billion people on Earth at the moment. That's one person among 6,500,000,000 people. That'a lot of Wembley Stadiums full of people, and even more double-decker buses (apparently the standard British measurements for size). And we live on an Earth that is spinning at 67,000 miles an hour through space around a sun that is the centre of our solar system (and our solar system is spinning around the centre of the Milky Way at 530,000 mph). Just our solar system (which is a tiny speck within the entire universe) is very big indeed. If Earth was a peppercorn and Jupiter was a chestnut (the standard American measurements), you'd have to place them 100 metres apart to get a sense of the real distance between us. And this universe is only one of many. In fact, the chances are that there are many, many more populated Earths - just like ours - in other universes. And that's just space. Have a look at time, too. If you're in for a good run, you may spend 85 years on this Earth. Man has been around for 100,000 years, so you're going to spend just 0.00085 percent of man's history living on this Earth. And Man's stay on Earth has been very short in the context of the life of the Earth (which is 4.5 billion years old): if the Earth had been around for the equivalent of a day (with the Big Bang kicking it all off at midnight), humans didn't turn up until 11.59.58 p.m. That means we've only been around for the last two seconds. A lifetime is gone in a flash. There are relatively few people on this Earth that were here 100 years ago. Just as you'll be gone (relatively) soon. So, with just the briefest look at the spatial and temporal context of our lives, we are utterly insignificant. As the Perspective Machine lifts up so far above the woods that we forget what the word means, we see just one moving light. It is beautiful. A small, gently glowing light. It is a firefly lost somewhere in the cosmos. And a firefly - on Earth - lives for just one night. It glows beautifully, then goes out. And up there so high in our Perspective Machine we realize that our lives are really just like that of the firefly. Except the air is full of 6.5 billion fireflies. They're glowing beautifully for one night. Then they are gone. So, Fuck It, you might as well REALLY glow.
John C. Parkin (F**k It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way)
covering ten to twenty miles a day. The pregnant women complained desperately. The Georgia-man rode on. After crossing the Potomac, he moved Ball, who was physically the strongest of the men, from the middle of the chain and attached his padlocked collar to the first iron link. With Ball setting a faster pace, the two sets of double lines of people hurried down the high road, a dirt line in the Virginia grain fields that today lies under the track of US Highway 301.
Edward E. Baptist (The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism)
In the beginning, the earth was without form, and void and the darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And god said, 'Let there be light.' and there was light. Only, it wasn't good light. Bob created fireworks, sparklers and neon tubes that circled the globe like weird tangled rainbows. He dabbled with bugs that blinked and abstract creatures whose heads lit up and cast long overlapping shadows. There were mile-high candles and mountains of fairy lights. For an hour or so, earth was lit by enormous crystal chandeliers. Bob thought his creations were cool. They were cool, but they didn't work
Meg Rosoff (There Is No Dog)
Becky walked to the sea late in the day, trod barefoot among the tumbled blocks of stone that lined the foreshore, smelling the old harsh smell of salt, hearing the water slap and chuckle while from high above came the endless sinister trickling of the cliffs. Into her consciousness stole, maybe for the first time, the sense of loneliness; an oppression born of the gentle miles of summer water, the tall blackness of the headlands, the fingers of the stone ledges pushing out into the sea.
Keith Roberts (Pavane)
None of the palaces in Hell come close to Lucifer's in size or beauty. Lucifer lives at the top of a literal ivory tower, miles high. You can't even see the top from the ground. The joke is that he built it that high so he can lean out the window and pound on Heaven's floor with a broom handle when he wants them to turn down the choir.
Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim, #1))
Beyond the river and ten miles east of the city the Sangre Mountains began to reveal themselves in more detail as the sun rose higher, the rampart of blue shadow dissolving in the light, exposing the fissured red cliffs, the canyons and gorges a thousand feet deep, the towers leaning out from the main wall, the foothills dry and barren as old bones, and above and behind these tumbled ruins the final barrier of granite, the great horizontal crest tilted up a mile high into the frosty blue sky, sparkling with a new fall of snow. The mountains loomed over the valley like a psychical presence, a source and mirror of nervous influences, emotions, subtle and unlabeled aspirations; no man could ignore that presence; in an underground poker game, in the vaults of the First National Bank, in the realtor's office during the composition of and intricate swindle, in the heart of a sexual embrace, the emanations of mountain and sky imprinted some analogue of their nature on the evolution and shape of every soul.
Edward Abbey
Such talk makes you think of radiation like water in a pool: if it’s four feet high you’re safe, if it’s eight feet high you drown. But in fact radiation levels are much more like speed limits on the highway – thirty miles per hour is safer than eighty, but not as safe as twenty, and the only way to be completely safe is not to get in the car.
Ken Follett (Triple)
And what do you want?” I almost choked. “How could you even ask me that, Henry?” He sighed. “Because I’m thousands of miles away. Because I Skyped into your living room late one night and there’s a dude sitting next to you in the dark. Because Thanet tells me things. And Tennyson sent me a picture of you in a dress that looks like lingerie.” “It’s not that bad,” I said. “I didn’t say it was bad, Meg. It’s about a million miles from bad.” His voice was breaking with exasperation. “Things are crazy here, and I’m questioning everything.
Laura Anderson Kurk (Perfect Glass)
There was no girls' cross-country team at our high school, since cross-country courses were two or three miles long, and, at that distance, a girl's uterus could fall out.
Gretchen Reynolds (The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer)
Each day, the moon’s gravitational field tugs at the earth as it rotates underneath. At CERN, this tiny stress caused the total length of the LEP tunnel to stretch and contract by about a millimeter (one-twenty-fifth of an inch) every day. Not such a big deal in a seventeen-mile-long beam pipe, but enough to cause a tiny fluctuation in the energy of the electrons and positrons—one that was easily detectable by the high-precision instruments. After some initial puzzlement at the daily energy variations, the CERN physicists quickly figured out what was going on.
Sean Carroll (The Particle at the End of the Universe)
But later, just as we're turning the corner into my road, and I'm beginning to panic about the pain and difficulty of the impending conversation, I see a woman on her own, Saturday-night-smart, off to meet somebody somewhere, friends, or a lover. And when I was living with Laura, I missed... what? Maybe I missed somebody traveling on a bus or tube or cab, *going out of her way*, to meet me, maybe dressed up a little, wearing more makeup than usual, maybe even slightly nervous; when I was younger, the knowledge that I was responsible for any of this, even the bus ride, made me feel pathetically grateful. When you're with someone permanently, you don't get that: if Laura wanted to see me, she only had to turn her head, or walk from the bathroom to the bedroom, and she never bothered to dress up for the trip. And when she came home, she came home because she lived in my flat, not because we were lovers, and when we went out, she sometimes dressed up and sometimes didn't, depending on where we were going, but again, it was nothing whatsoever to do with me. Anyway, all this is by way of saying that the woman I saw out of the cab window inspired me and consoled me, momentarily: maybe I am not too old to provoke a trip from one part of London to another, and if I ever do have another date, and I arrange to meet that date in, say, Islington, and she has to come all the way from Stoke Newington, a journey of some three to four miles, I will thank her from the bottom of my wretched thirty-five-year-old heart.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
They knew where they were headed but they didn’t know where they were going. Retina shrugged the thought. Roma complained about the possibility they were walking into a trap. After all, he was one of the scientists that decided Solstice’s fate. Retina was adamant no one knew him. Lorenzo didn’t care about anything much but reaching Zharfar after Retina surgically removed his Unicell Groper. They were headed to Africa in what seemed a semi commercial private plane. Eight people including the pilots travelled. They weren’t supposed to know any more particulars. But Lorenzo’s watch placed the coordinates in both numbers and words. They were in West Africa, country Nigeria, state Osun, and township Isura. None of them had ever heard of it, the town, but they were there. And they had travelled for miles, over highly forested nonresidential areas and mountain peaks before they stopped. Wherever they were going was greatly isolated, Roma thought.
Dew Platt
A bald eagle perched in a dead tree, watching us. The landscape was bold. Not only was the property on the North Platte River but the river ran through it, taking an east-west turn for a few miles in its course. The land was a section, 640 acres, a square mile of riparian shrubs and cottonwood, some wetland areas during June high water, sage flats and a lot of weedy overgrazed pasture (46).
Annie Proulx (Bird Cloud)
When now we turn and look five miles above, there on the edge of town are five houses of prostitutes,—two of blacks and three of whites; and in one of the houses of the whites a worthless black boy was harbored too openly two years ago; so he was hanged for rape. And here, too, is the high whitewashed fence of the "stockade," as the county prison is called; the white folks say it is ever full of black criminals,—the black folks say that only colored boys are sent to jail, and they not because they are guilty, but because the State needs criminals to eke out its income by their forced labor.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk)
as a member of a zippier generation, with sparkle in its eyes and a snap in its stride, let me tell you what kept us as high as kites a lot of the time: hatred. All my life I’ve had people to hate—from Hitler to Nixon, not that those two are at all comparable in their villainy. It is a tragedy, perhaps, that human beings can get so much energy and enthusiasm from hate. If you want to feel ten feet tall and as though you could run a hundred miles without stopping, hate beats pure cocaine any day. Hitler resurrected a beaten, bankrupt, half-starved nation with hatred and nothing more. Imagine
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young)
We caught up for a while until my Xanax began to kick in, and I eventually leaned my head on his shoulder and dozed off. When I woke up, we were already landing. “I wasn’t sure you were breathing there for a while.” I stretched in my seat. “I was really out.” “I know. I tried to wake you to join the mile-high club, but you didn’t budge. Got as far as slipping off your panties, but after that you were like dead wood.
Vi Keeland (The Baller)
In her memoir of living among the Bushmen, The Old Way: A Story of the First People, my friend Liz lovingly invokes an image first coined by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins: “You are standing beside your mother, holding her hand. She is holding her mother’s hand, who is holding her mother’s hand. . . . ” Eventually the line stretches three hundred miles long and goes back five million years, and the clasping hand of the ancestor looks like that of a chimpanzee. I loved picturing one of Octavia’s arms stretching out to meet one of her mother’s arms, and one of her mother’s mother’s arms, and her mother’s mother’s mother’s. . . . Suckered, elastic arms, reaching back through time: an octopus chorus line stretching not just hundreds, but many thousands of miles long. Back past the Cenozoic, the time when our ancestors descended from the trees; back past the Mesozoic, when dinosaurs ruled the land; back past the Permian and the rise of the ancestors of the mammals; back, past the Carboniferous’s coal-forming swamp forests; back past the Devonian, when amphibians emerged from the water; back past the Silurian, when plants first took root on land—all the way to the Ordovician, to a time before the advent of wings or knees or lungs, before the fishes had bony jaws, before blood pumped from a multichambered heart. More than 500 million years ago, the tides would have been stronger, the days shorter, the year longer, and the air too high in carbon dioxide for mammals or birds to breathe. All the earth’s continents huddled in the Southern Hemisphere. And yet still, the arm of Octavia’s ancestor, sensitive, suckered, and supple, would have been recognizable as one of an octopus.
Sy Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness)
The King said, "The third question is, how many seconds of time are there in eternity." Then said the shepherd boy, "In Lower Pomerania is the Diamond Mountain, which is two miles and a half high, two miles and a half wide, and two miles and a half in depth; every hundred years a little bird comes and sharpens its beak on it, and when the whole mountain is worn away by this, then the first second of eternity will be over." The
Jacob Grimm (Grimm's Fairy Tales)
A high upland common was this moor, two miles from end to end, and full of furze and bracken. There were no trees and not a house, nothing but a line of telegraph poles following the road, sweeping with rigidity from north to south; nailed upon one of them a small scarlet notice to stonethrowers was prominent as a wound. On so high and wide a region as Shag Moor the wind always blew, or if it did not quite blow there was a cool activity in the air. The furze was always green and growing, and, taking no account of seasons, often golden. Here in summer solitude lounged and snoozed; at other times, as now, it shivered and looked sinister. ("The Higgler")
A.E. Coppard (Dusky Ruth: And Other Stories)
I want to celebrate my homecoming, not my funeral. I still have so much I want to say and do. Life is too short not to live it right … from this day forward I will embrace everything good and desecrate all that is evil. I’ve seen enough evil to last a lifetime now. I want the good in life without worrying. To be with people who are caring, smiles that last for miles, and love that’s forever lasting, a home that I call my own, not a prison. I may be defeated and beaten down, only to get back up again, to stand tall with head held high and my pride not shaken. Only to survive this horrible nightmare with my heart still attached and my soul not stolen and walk away without a scar on me.
Michelle Knight (Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings)
I saw the sky descending, black and white, Not blue, on Boston where the winters wore The skulls to jack-o’-lanterns on the slates, And Hunger’s skin-and-bone retrievers tore The chickadee and shrike. The thorn tree waits Its victim and tonight The worms will eat the deadwood to the foot Of Ararat: the scythers, Time and Death, Helmed locusts, move upon the tree of breath; The wild ingrafted olive and the root Are withered, and a winter drifts to where The Pepperpot, ironic rainbow, spans Charles River and its scales of scorched-earth miles. I saw my city in the Scales, the pans Of judgement rising and descending. Piles Of dead leaves char the air— And I am a red arrow on this graph Of Revelations. Every dove is sold. The Chapel’s sharp-shinned eagle shifts its hold On serpent-Time, the rainbow’s epitaph. In Boston serpents whistle at the cold. The victim climbs the altar steps and sings: “Hosannah to the lion, lamb, and beast Who fans the furnace-face of IS with wings: I breathe the ether of my marriage feast.” At the high altar, gold And a fair cloth. I kneel and the wings beat My cheek. What can the dove of Jesus give You now but wisdom, exile? Stand and live, The dove has brought an olive branch to eat.
Robert Lowell
I love London. I love everything about it. I love its palaces and its museums and its galleries, sure. But also, I love its filth, and damp, and stink. Okay, well, I don’t mean love, exactly. But I don’t mind it. Not any more. Not now I’m used to it. You don’t mind anything once you’re used to it. Not the graffiti you find on your door the week after you painted over it, or the chicken bones and cider cans you have to move before you can sit down for your damp and muddy picnic. Not the everchanging fast food joints – AbraKebabra to Pizza the Action to Really Fried Chicken – and all on a high street that despite its three new names a week never seems to look any different. Its tawdriness can be comforting, its wilfulness inspiring. It’s the London I see every day. I mean, tourists: they see the Dorchester. They see Harrods, and they see men in bearskins and Carnaby Street. They very rarely see the Happy Shopper on the Mile End Road, or a drab Peckham disco. They head for Buckingham Palace, and see waving above it the red, white and blue, while the rest of us order dansak from the Tandoori Palace, and see Simply Red, White Lightning, and Duncan from Blue. But we should be proud of that, too. Or, at least, get used to it.
Danny Wallace (Charlotte Street)
That little girl, I adore her, but she’s an anarchist. She wakes us up whenever she feels like it, she thinks high-energy at seven in the morning is a positive, sometimes she screams for no reason, she decides on a second-to-second basis which foods she’ll eat and which she’ll fight you over, she puts her hands and face into truly disgusting places, and she’s attached to our hips for at least another fourteen years, if we’re lucky enough for a college we can’t afford to take her off our hands.
Dennis Lehane (Moonlight Mile (Kenzie & Gennaro #6))
Shortly before school started, I moved into a studio apartment on a quiet street near the bustle of the downtown in one of the most self-conscious bends of the world. The “Gold Coast” was a neighborhood that stretched five blocks along the lake in a sliver of land just south of Lincoln Park and north of River North. The streets were like fine necklaces and strung together were the brownstone houses and tall condominiums and tiny mansions like pearls, and when the day broke and the sun faded away, their lights burned like jewels shining gaudily in the night. The world’s most elegant bazaar, Michigan Avenue, jutted out from its eastern tip near The Drake Hotel and the timeless blue-green waters of Lake Michigan pressed its shores. The fractious make-up of the people that inhabited it, the flat squareness of its parks and the hint of the lake at the ends of its tree-lined streets squeezed together a domesticated cesspool of age and wealth and standing. It was a place one could readily dress up for an expensive dinner at one of the fashionable restaurants or have a drink miles high in the lounge of the looming John Hancock Building and five minutes later be out walking on the beach with pants cuffed and feet in the cool water at the lake’s edge.
Daniel Amory (Minor Snobs)
I had to ride my bike to and from their god damn plant way up north in the high-chemical crime district, and reachable only by riding on the shoulder of some major freeways. I could feel the years ticking off my life expectancy as the mile markers struggled by.
Neal Stephenson (Zodiac)
Bloody rain” says Mr Chivers Bouncing a basketball On the one dry patch of court bloody rain” he nods to our Sports class And gives us the afternoon off. Bloody rain all right As Annabel and I run to Megalong Creek hut Faster than we ever have in Chivers’s class And the exercise we have in mind We’ve been training for all year But I doubt if old Chivers Will give us a medal if he ever finds out. We high jump into the hut And strip down Climb under the blankets And cheer the bloody rain As it does a lap or two Around the mountain While Annabel and me Embrace like winners should Like good sports do As Mr. Chivers sips his third coffee And twitches his bad knee From his playing days While miles away Annabel and I Score a convincing victory And for once in our school life The words “Physical Education” Make sense…
Steven Herrick (Kissing Annabel: Love, Ghosts, and Facial Hair; A Place Like This)
Culture alone cannot explain the phenomena of such high rates of eating disorders. Eating disorders are complex, but what they all seem to have in common is the ability to distract women from the memories, sensations, and experience of the sexual abuse through starving, bingeing, purging, or exercising. They keep the focus on food, body image, weight, fat, calories, diets, miles, and other factors that women focus on during the course of an eating disorder. These disorders also have the ability to numb a woman from the overwhelming emotions resulting from the sexual abuse — especially loss of control, terror, and shame about her body. Women often have a combination of eating disorders in in their history. Some women are anorexic during one period of their life, bulimic during another, and compulsive eaters at yet another stage.
Karen A. Duncan (Healing from the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse: The Journey for Women)
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago--never mind how long precisely--having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me. There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs--commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there. Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall, northward. What do you see?--Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster--tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone? What do they here? But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive. Strange! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling in. And there they stand--miles of them--leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets and avenues--north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither? Once more. Say you are in the country; in some high land of lakes. Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries--stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
O M G, Bianca, that is the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen in my life,” Judith gushed as we made our way across the bar. I flushed, but I certainly couldn’t dispute the comment. “That man is downright pretty,” Marnie said. I wrinkled my nose. The word pretty just sounded so feminine to me. And that was so not James. “He’s good in bed, too?” Marnie asked, clearly skeptical. “That just isn’t fair. If I looked like him, I’d never leave my house. I’d just stay home and f**k myself. If you tell me he has a big dick, I might become either a cutter or a lesbian.
R.K. Lilley (Mile High (Up in the Air, #2))
He’d never encountered beauty of such magnitude and intensity. It was not allure, but grace, like the sight of land to a shipwrecked man. And he, who hadn’t been on a capsized vessel since he was six—and that had only been an overturned canoe—suddenly felt as if he’d been adrift in the open ocean his entire life. Someone spoke to him. He couldn’t make out a single word. There was something elemental to her beauty, like a mile-high thunderhead, a gathering avalanche, or a Bengal tiger prowling the darkness of the jungle. A phenomenon of inherent danger and overwhelming perfection. He felt a sharp, sweet ache in his chest: His life would never again be complete without her. But he felt no fear, only excitement, wonder, and desire. Christian's thoughts upon seeing Venetia for the first time (Beguiling the Beauty, Fitzhugh Trilogy 1, by Sherry Thomas)
Sherry Thomas
Ralph Lauren generates a huge portion of its sales from seconds and job lots sold at the many Polo factory stores around the country. There are so many of these stores (and the demand is so high) that many of the items sold aren’t seconds at all. They’re designed and produced for the factory stores. People tell themselves a story about finding a bargain, they build up the expectation by driving thirty miles out of their way (while on vacation, no less) and then are delighted to spend $40 for a $400 jacket that was never intended to be sold for $400 and probably cost $4 to make.
Seth Godin (All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World)
Anne was now at hand to take up her own cause, and the sincerity of her manner being soon sufficient to convince him, where conviction was at least very agreeable, he had no farther scruples as to her being left to dine alone, though he still wanted her to join them in the evening, when the child might be at rest for the night, and kindly urged her to let him come and fetch her; but she was quite unpersuadable and this being the case, she had ere long the pleasure of seeing them set off together in high spirits. They were gone, she hoped, to be happy, however oddly constructed such happiness might seem; as for herself, she was left with as many sensations of comfort, as were, perhaps ever likely to be hers. She knew herself to be of the first utility to the child; and what was it to her, if Frederick Wentworth were only half a mile distant, making himself agreeable to others!
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run… but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.… History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of "history" it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened. My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder's jacket… booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change)... but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that… There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda.… You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning.… And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.… So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
An asteroid or comet traveling at cosmic velocities would enter the Earth’s atmosphere at such a speed that the air beneath it couldn’t get out of the way and would be compressed, as in a bicycle pump. As anyone who has used such a pump knows, compressed air grows swiftly hot, and the temperature below it would rise to some 60,000 Kelvin, or ten times the surface temperature of the Sun. In this instant of its arrival in our atmosphere, everything in the meteor’s path—people, houses, factories, cars—would crinkle and vanish like cellophane in a flame. One second after entering the atmosphere, the meteorite would slam into the Earth’s surface, where the people of Manson had a moment before been going about their business. The meteorite itself would vaporize instantly, but the blast would blow out a thousand cubic kilometers of rock, earth, and superheated gases. Every living thing within 150 miles that hadn’t been killed by the heat of entry would now be killed by the blast. Radiating outward at almost the speed of light would be the initial shock wave, sweeping everything before it. For those outside the zone of immediate devastation, the first inkling of catastrophe would be a flash of blinding light—the brightest ever seen by human eyes—followed an instant to a minute or two later by an apocalyptic sight of unimaginable grandeur: a roiling wall of darkness reaching high into the heavens, filling an entire field of view and traveling at thousands of miles an hour. Its approach would be eerily silent since it would be moving far beyond the speed of sound. Anyone in a tall building in Omaha or Des Moines, say, who chanced to look in the right direction would see a bewildering veil of turmoil followed by instantaneous oblivion. Within minutes, over an area stretching from Denver to Detroit and encompassing what had once been Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, the Twin Cities—the whole of the Midwest, in short—nearly every standing thing would be flattened or on fire, and nearly every living thing would be dead. People up to a thousand miles away would be knocked off their feet and sliced or clobbered by a blizzard of flying projectiles. Beyond a thousand miles the devastation from the blast would gradually diminish. But that’s just the initial shockwave. No one can do more than guess what the associated damage would be, other than that it would be brisk and global. The impact would almost certainly set off a chain of devastating earthquakes. Volcanoes across the globe would begin to rumble and spew. Tsunamis would rise up and head devastatingly for distant shores. Within an hour, a cloud of blackness would cover the planet, and burning rock and other debris would be pelting down everywhere, setting much of the planet ablaze. It has been estimated that at least a billion and a half people would be dead by the end of the first day. The massive disturbances to the ionosphere would knock out communications systems everywhere, so survivors would have no idea what was happening elsewhere or where to turn. It would hardly matter. As one commentator has put it, fleeing would mean “selecting a slow death over a quick one. The death toll would be very little affected by any plausible relocation effort, since Earth’s ability to support life would be universally diminished.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Last and crowning torture of all the tortures of that awful place is the eternity of hell. Eternity! O, dread and dire word. Eternity! What mind of man can understand it? And remember, it is an eternity of pain. Even though the pain of hell were not so terrible as they are, yet they would become infinite, as they are destined to last for ever. But while they are everlasting they are at the some times, as you know, intolerably intense, unbearably extensive. To bear even the sting of an insect for all eternity would be a dreadful torment. What must it be, then, to bear the manifold tortures of hell for ever? For ever! For all eternity! Not for a year or for an age but for ever. Try to imagine the awful meaning of this. You have often seen the sand on the seashore. How fine are its tiny grains! And how many of those tiny little grains go to make up the small handful which a child grasps in its play. Now imagine a mountain of that sand, a million miles high, reaching from earth to the farthest heavens, and a million miles broad, extending to remotest space, and a million miles in thickness; and imagine such an enormous mass of countless particles of sand multiplies as often as there are leaves in the forest, drops of water in the mighty ocean, feathers on birds, scales on fish, hairs on animals, atoms in the vast expanse of the air: and imagine that at the end of every million years a little bird came to that mountain and carried away in its beak a tiny grain of that sand. How many million upon millions of centuries would pass before that bird had carried away even a square foot of that mountain, how many eons upon eons of ages before it had carried away all? Yet at the end of that immense stretch of time not even one instant of eternity could be said to have ended. At the end of all those billions and trillions of years eternity would have scarcely begun. And if that mountain rose again after it had been all carried away, and i f the bird came again and carried it all away again grain by grain, and if it sop rose and sank as many times as there are stars in the sky, atoms in the air, drops of water in the sea, leaves on the trees, feathers upon birds, scales upon fish, hairs upon animals, at the end of all those innumerable risings and sinkings of that immeasurably vast mountain not one single instant of eternity could be said to have ended; even then, at the end of such a period, after that eon of time the mere thought of which makes our very brain reel dizzily, eternity would scarcely have begun.
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
There was no moon at all, and a faint silver peppering of starts fardly showed through the scrim of high clouds. The sea itself seemed to give off light, a spectral, colorless light that was more like the sea's breath. The night was soft and thick and black and warm as velvet, silky on my skin, smelling of iodine and salt and crepe myrtle and that ineffable, skin-prickling saline emanation that says 'ocean' to me whenever I smell it, hundreds of miles inland. It always moves me close to tears, so visceral, so old and tidal is its pull. I have often thought that it is the first smell we know, the amniotic smell of our first, secret sea.
Anne Rivers Siddons (Downtown)
Though North Carolina’s constitution guaranteed free elections, folks struggling to make ends meet on hourly pay simply could not afford to miss a day—or even an hour—and risk losing their fragile employment. They certainly didn’t have time to travel to their county board of elections months prior to November, make sure their paperwork was in order, and then get off work again on a weekday to vote at their local precinct. Due to the highly mobile nature of low-wage work, many working poor people told us that they were often hours away from their precinct on Election Day, building someone else’s home or cleaning a school miles away from their own children.
William J. Barber II (The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement)
Writing is the hum. Writing is laying track. Writing is the high. Now imagine that hum, that high, that track to be laid is behind a door. And that door is five miles away. Those five miles are just . . . writing crap and doodling and trying to have an idea and surfing the internet and hoping like hell not to get so distracted that you give up. Worse? Those five miles are lined with brownies and cupcakes and episodes of Game of Thrones and Idris Elba waiting to talk to only you and really good novels to read. Every time I sit down to write, I have to mentally run those five miles past all of that to get to that door. It’s a long, hard five-mile run. Sometimes I am almost dead by the time I reach the door. That’s why I have to keep doing it. The more often I run the five miles, the fitter I become. And the fitter I become, the easier the run begins to feel and the less fresh and exciting all that stuff on the side of the road seems. I mean, how long has it been there? More important, as I get fitter, I can run faster. And the faster I can run, the faster I can get to that door. The faster you can too, writers out there. When you sit down to write every day, it becomes easier and easier to tap into that creative space inside your mind. The faster I can get to that door, the quicker I can get to the good stuff.
Shonda Rhimes (Year of Yes)
Last month, on a very windy day, I was returning from a lecture I had given to a group in Fort Washington. I was beginning to feel unwell. I was feeling increasing spasms in my legs and back and became anxious as I anticipated a difficult ride back to my office. Making matters worse, I knew I had to travel two of the most treacherous high-speed roads near Philadelphia – the four-lane Schuylkill Expressway and the six-lane Blue Route. You’ve been in my van, so you know how it’s been outfitted with everything I need to drive. But you probably don’t realize that I often drive more slowly than other people. That’s because I have difficulty with body control. I’m especially careful on windy days when the van can be buffeted by sudden gusts. And if I’m having problems with spasms or high blood pressure, I stay way over in the right hand lane and drive well below the speed limit. When I’m driving slowly, people behind me tend to get impatient. They speed up to my car, blow their horns, drive by, stare at me angrily, and show me how long their fingers can get. (I don't understand why some people are so proud of the length of their fingers, but there are many things I don't understand.) Those angry drivers add stress to what already is a stressful experience of driving. On this particular day, I was driving by myself. At first, I drove slowly along back roads. Whenever someone approached, I pulled over and let them pass. But as I neared the Blue Route, I became more frightened. I knew I would be hearing a lot of horns and seeing a lot of those long fingers. And then I did something I had never done in the twenty-four years that I have been driving my van. I decided to put on my flashers. I drove the Blue Route and the Schuylkyll Expressway at 35 miles per hour. Now…Guess what happened? Nothing! No horns and no fingers. But why? When I put on my flashers, I was saying to the other drivers, “I have a problem here – I am vulnerable and doing the best I can.” And everyone understood. Several times, in my rearview mirror I saw drivers who wanted to pass. They couldn’t get around me because of the stream of passing traffic. But instead of honking or tailgating, they waited for the other cars to pass, knowing the driver in front of them was in some way weak. Sam, there is something about vulnerability that elicits compassion. It is in our hard wiring. I see it every day when people help me by holding doors, pouring cream in my coffee, or assist me when I put on my coat. Sometimes I feel sad because from my wheelchair perspective, I see the best in people. But those who appear strong and invulnerably typically are not exposed to the kindness I see daily. Sometimes situations call for us to act strong and brave even when we don't feel that way. But those are a few and far between. More often, there is a better pay-off if you don't pretend you feel strong when you feel weak, or pretend that you are brave when you’re scared. I really believe the world might be a safer place if everyone who felt vulnerable wore flashers that said, “I have a problem and I’m doing the best I can. Please be patient!
Daniel Gottlieb (Letters to Sam: A Grandfather's Lessons on Love, Loss, and the Gifts of Life)
The Last Hero The wind blew out from Bergen from the dawning to the day, There was a wreck of trees and fall of towers a score of miles away, And drifted like a livid leaf I go before its tide, Spewed out of house and stable, beggared of flag and bride. The heavens are bowed about my head, shouting like seraph wars, With rains that might put out the sun and clean the sky of stars, Rains like the fall of ruined seas from secret worlds above, The roaring of the rains of God none but the lonely love. Feast in my hall, O foemen, and eat and drink and drain, You never loved the sun in heaven as I have loved the rain. The chance of battle changes -- so may all battle be; I stole my lady bride from them, they stole her back from me. I rent her from her red-roofed hall, I rode and saw arise, More lovely than the living flowers the hatred in her eyes. She never loved me, never bent, never was less divine; The sunset never loved me, the wind was never mine. Was it all nothing that she stood imperial in duresse? Silence itself made softer with the sweeping of her dress. O you who drain the cup of life, O you who wear the crown, You never loved a woman's smile as I have loved her frown. The wind blew out from Bergen to the dawning of the day, They ride and run with fifty spears to break and bar my way, I shall not die alone, alone, but kin to all the powers, As merry as the ancient sun and fighting like the flowers. How white their steel, how bright their eyes! I love each laughing knave, Cry high and bid him welcome to the banquet of the brave. Yea, I will bless them as they bend and love them where they lie, When on their skulls the sword I swing falls shattering from the sky. The hour when death is like a light and blood is like a rose, -- You never loved your friends, my friends, as I shall love my foes. Know you what earth shall lose to-night, what rich uncounted loans, What heavy gold of tales untold you bury with my bones? My loves in deep dim meadows, my ships that rode at ease, Ruffling the purple plumage of strange and secret seas. To see this fair earth as it is to me alone was given, The blow that breaks my brow to-night shall break the dome of heaven. The skies I saw, the trees I saw after no eyes shall see, To-night I die the death of God; the stars shall die with me; One sound shall sunder all the spears and break the trumpet's breath: You never laughed in all your life as I shall laugh in death.
G.K. Chesterton
What does Africa — what does the West stand for? Is not our own interior white on the chart? black though it may prove, like the coast, when discovered. Is it the source of the Nile, or the Niger, or the Mississippi, or a Northwest Passage around this continent, that we would find? Are these the problems which most concern mankind? Is Franklin the only man who is lost, that his wife should be so earnest to find him? Does Mr. Grinnell know where he himself is? Be rather the Mungo Park,the Lewis and Clark and Frobisher,of your own streams and oceans; explore your own higher latitudes — with shiploads of preserved meats to support you, if they be necessary; and pile the empty cans sky-high for a sign. Were preserved meats invented to preserve meat merely? Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought. Every man is the lord of a realm beside which the earthly empire of the Czar is but a petty state, a hummock left by the ice. Yet some can be patriotic who have no self-respect, and sacrifice the greater to the less. They love the soil which makes their graves, but have no sympathy with the spirit which may still animate their clay. Patriotism is a maggot in their heads.What was the meaning of that South-Sea Exploring Expedition,with all its parade and expense, but an indirect recognition of the fact that there are continents and seas in the moral world to which every man is an isthmus or an inlet, yet unexplored by him, but that it is easier to sail many thousand miles through cold and storm and cannibals, in a government ship, with five hundred men and boys to assist one, than it is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one's being alone.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
All to the north the rain had dragged black tendrils down from the thunderclouds like tracings of lampblack fallen in a beaker and in the night they could hear the drum of rain miles away on the prairie. They ascended through a rocky pass and lightning shaped out the distant shivering mountains and lightning rang the stones about and tufts of blue fire clung to the horses like incandescent elementals that would not be driven off. Soft smelterlights advanced upon the metal of the harness, lights ran blue and liquid on the barrels of the guns. Mad jack-hares started and checked in the blue glare and high among those clanging crags jokin roehawks crouched in their feathers or cracked a yellow eye at the thunder underfoot.
Cormac McCarthy
I fear the democratization of plastic surgery, when it's so cheap that everyone - the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker - goes under the knife and winds up looking like these tightly pulled, slightly surprised-looking society and celebrity aliens from Planet Botox. . . . When I was young, I could have bottled up my self-loathing and filled a mile of train cars with it. Now that I'm old, I can't think of anyone I'd rather be than me. . . . That's what we need now: surgeons who can slice away the self-consciousness, the fear, the loneliness, and inject a little hope instead. A little love. Or a doctor who implants only high spirits, penchants for practical jokes, or the ability to cha-cha even to a dirge beat.
Lorna Landvik (Oh My Stars)
They loved the sea. They taught themselves to sail, to navigate and read the weather. Without their mother's knowledge and long before she thought them old enough to sail outside the harbor, they were piloting their catboat all the way to the Isles of Shoals. They were on the return leg of one such excursion when the fickle weather of early spring took an abrupt turn and the sky darkened and the sun vanished and the wind came squalling off the open sea. They were a half mile from the harbor when the storm overtook them. The rain struck in a slashing torrent and the swells hove them so high they felt they might be sent flying--then dropped them into troughs so deep they could see nothing but walls of water the color of iron. They feared the sail would be ripped away. Samuel Thomas wrestled the tiller and John Roger bailed in a frenzy and both were wide-eyed with euphoric terror as time and again they were nearly capsized before at last making the harbor. When they got home and Mary Margaret saw their sodden state she scolded them for dunces and wondered aloud how they could do so well in their schooling when they didn't have sense enough to get out of the rain.
James Carlos Blake (Country of the Bad Wolfes)
A year or so earlier I had been to the Sky River Rock Festival in rural Washington, where a dosen stone-broke freaks from Seattle Liberation Front had assembled a sound system that carried every small note of an acoustic guitar - even a cough or the sound of a boot drooping on the stage - to half-deaf acid victims huddled under bushes a half mile away. But the best technicians available to the National DAs' convention in Vegas apparently couldn't handle it. Their sound system looked like something Ulysses S. Grant might have triggered up to addres his troops during the Siege of Vicksburg. The voices from up front crackled with a fuzzy, high-pitched urgency, and the delay was just enough to keep the words disconcertingly out of phaze with the speaker's gestures. (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, p. 73)
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Over the years I have read many, many books about the future, my ‘we’re all doomed’ books, as Connie liked to call them. ‘All the books you read are either about how grim the past was or how gruesome the future will be. It might not be that way, Douglas. Things might turn out all right.’ But these were well-researched, plausible studies, their conclusions highly persuasive, and I could become quite voluble on the subject. Take, for instance, the fate of the middle-class, into which Albie and I were born and to which Connie now belongs, albeit with some protest. In book after book I read that the middle-class are doomed. Globalisation and technology have already cut a swathe through previously secure professions, and 3D printing technology will soon wipe out the last of the manufacturing industries. The internet won’t replace those jobs, and what place for the middle-classes if twelve people can run a giant corporation? I’m no communist firebrand, but even the most rabid free-marketeer would concede that market-forces capitalism, instead of spreading wealth and security throughout the population, has grotesquely magnified the gulf between rich and poor, forcing a global workforce into dangerous, unregulated, insecure low-paid labour while rewarding only a tiny elite of businessmen and technocrats. So-called ‘secure’ professions seem less and less so; first it was the miners and the ship- and steel-workers, soon it will be the bank clerks, the librarians, the teachers, the shop-owners, the supermarket check-out staff. The scientists might survive if it’s the right type of science, but where do all the taxi-drivers in the world go when the taxis drive themselves? How do they feed their children or heat their homes and what happens when frustration turns to anger? Throw in terrorism, the seemingly insoluble problem of religious fundamentalism, the rise of the extreme right-wing, under-employed youth and the under-pensioned elderly, fragile and corrupt banking systems, the inadequacy of the health and care systems to cope with vast numbers of the sick and old, the environmental repercussions of unprecedented factory-farming, the battle for finite resources of food, water, gas and oil, the changing course of the Gulf Stream, destruction of the biosphere and the statistical probability of a global pandemic, and there really is no reason why anyone should sleep soundly ever again. By the time Albie is my age I will be long gone, or, best-case scenario, barricaded into my living module with enough rations to see out my days. But outside, I imagine vast, unregulated factories where workers count themselves lucky to toil through eighteen-hour days for less than a living wage before pulling on their gas masks to fight their way through the unemployed masses who are bartering with the mutated chickens and old tin-cans that they use for currency, those lucky workers returning to tiny, overcrowded shacks in a vast megalopolis where a tree is never seen, the air is thick with police drones, where car-bomb explosions, typhoons and freak hailstorms are so commonplace as to barely be remarked upon. Meanwhile, in literally gilded towers miles above the carcinogenic smog, the privileged 1 per cent of businessmen, celebrities and entrepreneurs look down through bullet-proof windows, accept cocktails in strange glasses from the robot waiters hovering nearby and laugh their tinkling laughs and somewhere, down there in that hellish, stewing mess of violence, poverty and desperation, is my son, Albie Petersen, a wandering minstrel with his guitar and his keen interest in photography, still refusing to wear a decent coat.
David Nicholls (Us)
So let’s consider an alternative diet, say 1200 kcal consisting of 30% protein, 15% carbs (i.e., 180 kcal or 45 grams), and 55% fat. After a week or two of getting adapted (during which you may experience some of the fuel limitation symptoms discussed above), your serum ketones rise up in the range (1-2 millimolar) where they meet at least half of the brain’s fuel supply. Now if you go for that 5 mile run, almost all of your body’s muscle fuel comes from fat, leaving your dietary carb intake plus gluconeogenesis from protein to meet the minor fraction of your brain’s energy need not provided from ketones. And, oh yes, after your run while on the low carb diet, your ketone levels actually go up a bit (not dangerously so), further improving fuel flow to your brain. So what does this mean for the rest of us who are not compulsive runners? Well, this illustrates that the keto-adapted state allows your body more flexibility in meeting its critical organ energy needs than a ‘balanced’ but energy-restricted diet. And in particular, this also means that your brain is a “carbohydrate dependent organ” (as claimed by the USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee as noted in Chapter 3) ONLY when you are eating a high carbohydrate diet. When carbohydrate is restricted as in the example above, your body’s appropriate production of ketones frees the brain from this supposed state of ‘carbohydrate dependency’. And because exercise stimulates ketone production, your brain’s fuel supply is better supported during and after intense exercise when on a low carbohydrate diet than when your carbohydrate intake is high (see below).
Jeff S. Volek (The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable)
He was miles past middle age with a gut that housed ample good meals. A patch of silver hair formed a trail from his forehead to the crown of his head where it dead ended with male pattern baldness. A sea of family photos took up residence on his desk. He sat back in a high-back leather swivel chair. Steepled hands. Robert Last Boots in Cognac Cordovan. Blue collar city worker with prestigious white collar dreams.
Brandi L. Bates
The Measure of America, a report of the Social Science Research Council, ranks every state in the United States on its “human development.” Each rank is based on life expectancy, school enrollment, educational degree attainment, and median personal earnings. Out of the 50 states, Louisiana ranked 49th and in overall health ranked last. According to the 2015 National Report Card, Louisiana ranked 48th out of 50 in eighth-grade reading and 49th out of 50 in eighth-grade math. Only eight out of ten Louisianans have graduated from high school, and only 7 percent have graduate or professional degrees. According to the Kids Count Data Book, compiled by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Louisiana ranked 49th out of 50 states for child well-being. And the problem transcends race; an average black in Maryland lives four years longer, earns twice as much, and is twice as likely to have a college degree as a black in Louisiana. And whites in Louisiana are worse off than whites in Maryland or anywhere else outside Mississippi. Louisiana has suffered many environmental problems too: there are nearly 400 miles of low, flat, subsiding coastline, and the state loses a football field–size patch of wetland every hour. It is threatened by rising sea levels and severe hurricanes, which the world’s top scientists connect to climate change.
Arlie Russell Hochschild (Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right)
I’d hate to see the look on my face when that mask came down and I saw the face behind it. Thinner than I remember. Paler. The eyes sunk deep into their sockets, kind of glazed over, like he’s sick or hurt, but I recognize it, I know whose face was hidden behind that mask. I just can’t process it. Here, in this place. A thousand years later and a million miles from the halls of George Barnard High School. Here, in the belly of the beast at the bottom of the world, standing right in front of me. Benjamin Thomas Parish. And Cassiopeia Marie Sullivan, having a full-bore out-of-body experience, seeing herself seeing him. The last time she saw him was in their high school gymnasium after the lights went out, and then only the back of his head, and the only times that she’s seen him since happened in her mind, the rational part of which always knew Ben Parish was dead like everyone else.
Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1))
On my days off I leave my apartment explore the city or grab coffee with a friend. The grocery stores here don’t make my hands sweat. I haven’t had the urge since I moved. I know who to call if I’m feeling sad. No, I haven’t even thought of it. I hurt myself once in high school, but not since. I have enough money to make it. I’m not nervous about moving. Yes, I ate dinner. I run five miles because I like it. I only hurt myself the one time in middle school, but that’s it. No, sex never scares me. I can tell my mom anything. I don’t really feel sad, I guess. I don’t care. I don’t need her. I never fight with my girlfriend. Yeah, I must’ve been. It was kind of an accident. Everyone in seventh grade. I’m friends with everyone. I know what that means. No, I didn’t read that in a book. I like having two bedrooms cause I have lots of toys. Yes, I understand why I’m here.
Miles Walser
A SAVIOR IS BORN Psalm 8:9 (ESV) O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!   REFLECTION On this night, shepherds were doing what they always did, keeping an eye on Bethlehem’s sheep through the night. But everything was about to change, as heaven opened and the angel of the Lord appeared to them and declared that Jesus had been born nearby. What irony. The sheep these shepherds were raising would be sacrificed just a few miles down the road on Jerusalem’s altar. Yet the shepherds themselves could not enter the temple to worship even if they wanted to. Because of their profession, they were ceremonially unclean. They were outcasts in the very worship that their hands made possible. Yet, God chose the shepherds to receive the greatest news ever heard. God came to them because He knew the shepherds couldn’t make it to church. What does that say about the Gospel? What does it say about you? This magnificent night says that grace meets you where you are, and saves you while you cannot do a thing to save yourself. Tonight, celebrate that Christ has come. Not to a mansion, but a manger. Not to the high and mighty, but to the guys on the lowest rung of the spiritual ladder. And celebrate that God’s grace finds you wherever you are this Christmas and shows you the way upwards to the arms of Almighty God. MEDITATION FOR CHRISTMAS EVE
Louie Giglio (Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey Of Hope)
Never Underestimate the Divine Strength of a Mother who appears Broken..... This phrase, in the most reciprocal form, is powerful. A broken woman is perceived as weak, battered, useless, and incapable, among many other low states of Human life, effortlessly causing her to think it might be best to lie down and die. The thought represents a desperation to escape a pain more powerful than she. There is, but one superseding power, greater than the pain itself. You take this woman, who loves her kids to the highest degree of unselfishness and give her a hint they’re suffering. A Divine Strength that can’t be seen, perhaps not even felt will ignite a fire within her from miles away. No one in its path will see it coming, not even her. This strength indicates that she will go beyond any limits to protect her offspring even if it means rising to her death. There’s no mountain too high, no fire too crucible, nor a fear she won’t face, to ensure they are safe, both mentally and physically. The best part is, no matter how broken down she appears, or how robbed she may be, no one can take from her, what they don’t know she possesses. Following the exhaustion of all other choices, this strength is activated, only when it’s most necessary. It may never be discovered in a lifetime by many, but you can bet it’s there when you need it most. It’s in every one of us, festering, waiting for what may be the last moments of life or death.
L. Yingling
Why should we, the brains of the military, have so much anxiety about our contribution to the war that we feel we have to ape Special Forces guys? To Fitzgerald commandos were just glorified jocks - pitchers and quarterbacks from suburban high schools who traded baseballs for bullets. There's no doubt they had skills. They could slither right up to the enemy on their stomachs survive on worms for days and plunk a target with a piece of lead from a mile away. All very impressive. But they couldn't speak Arabic or juggle a million intelligence requirements and 703 follow-up questions from the community while sitting three feet away from some Islamic firebrand who has no reason to talk. "Do you think those Special Forces guys are wracked with Interrogator envy?" Fitzgerald would say. "You think they're over there in their special sunglasses polishing their special weapons saying 'man if only I could do some hot-shit interrogations and write some hot-shit reports?
Chris Mackey (The Interrogators: Task Force 500 and America's Secret War Against Al Qaeda)
During the first two days of travel north of Miles City, in a country tht was custom-made for pronghorn antelope, they did not see a single one; the only living creatures they saw were prairie dogs, rabbits, and turkey vultures, wheeling high overhead as if scouting for the last meal in Montana. It was forlorn, abandoned country, a country of great absences, which had once been filled by the dust and noise and dung of one of the planet's greatest zoological spectacles but ws now almost completely silent.
Stefan Bechtel (Mr. Hornaday's War: How a Peculiar Victorian Zookeeper Waged a Lonely Crusade for Wildlife That Changed the World)
¿Qué fue primero: la música o la tristeza? ¿Me dio por escuchar música porque estaba triste? ¿O es que estaba triste porque escuchaba música? ¿No te convierten todos esos discos en una persona de tendencia melancólica? Hay quien se preocupa, y mucho, de que los niños pequeños jueguen con armas de fuego, de que los adolescentes vean vídeos en los que la violencia es moneda corriente; nos da miedo que esa esa especie de cultura de la violencia termine por tragárselos como si tal cosa. A nadie le preocupa en cambio que los niños escuchen miles, literalmente miles de canciones que tratan siempre de corazones destrozados, de rechazos y abandonos, de dolor, tristeza, pérdida. Las personas más desgraciadas que yo he conocido, románticamente hablando, son las que tienen un desarrollado gusto por la música pop. Y no sé si la música pop es la causante de esta infelicidad, pero sí tengo muy claro que han escuchado esas canciones infelices desde hace más tiempo del que llevan viviendo una vida más o menos infeliz. Así de claro.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
It is no easy thing to be in your mid-twenties and realize that, holy shit, this is it, this is as good as it gets, and from here it's all downhill, the fun's over, the hijinks have jinked their last, nothing lies ahead but drudgery and toil and a sagging belly and death. It's harder yet when a stupid bitch, a numbfuck cunt, one of those horrible sweet-smelling OMG types who wouldn't talk to you in high school and sure as fuck won't talk to you now, takes position on your elbow with a cell phone jammed into her cheek, yammering away. Because who wants to listen to the stream of shit coming out of her mouth? Gossip about friends. Gossip about enemies. Gossip about celebrities. Gossip about gossip. Not a thought in her head. Not a fact. Nothing of interest. Nothing of worth. Just an avalanche of verbal rubbish. The Patriots took on the Redcoats, the Blue fought the Gray, the National Guard stormed the beaches of Normandy, so this submoronic cretin could stand here in her designer boots and talk about what happened at the club last night.
Miles Watson (A Fever In The Blood)
During the school year, I practically lived in Dongguk’s modern, glass-walled library, with its stacks of tantalizing books and its high-speed Internet access. It became my playground, my dining room, and sometimes my bedroom. I liked the library best late at night, when there were fewer students around to distract me. When I needed a break, I took a walk out to a small garden that had a bench overlooking the city. I often bought a small coffee from a vending machine for a few cents and just sat there for a while, staring into the sea of lights that was metropolitan Seoul. Sometimes I wondered how there could be so many lights in this place when, just thirty-five miles north of here, a whole country was shrouded in darkness. Even in the small hours of the morning, the city was alive with flashing signs and blinking transmission towers and busy roadways with headlights traveling along like bright cells pumping through blood vessels. Everything was so connected, and yet so remote. I would wonder: Where is my place out there? Was I a North Korean or a South Korean? Was I neither?
Yeonmi Park (In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom)
I gestured upward, which told Adam to tell my brother to speed up. Adam knew what I planned to do and shook his head at me. What a pain, to stop the boat and argue with him about it. He didn’t consult anyone before he tried a trick and busted ass. If we stopped, Sean would insist my turn was over, and I’d be done for the day. I wasn’t done. So I nodded my head vigorously. Adam shook his finger at me, scolding. Then he turned around and spoke to my brother. The drone pitched higher as the boat sped up. I relaxed, relaxed, relaxed and let the boat and the wave do the work for me. My muscles remembered what they’d tried to do last summer, and this time they were able to do it. I caught miles of air, a huge thrill, and one glance at the boat: four boys with their mouths open. Then I almost panicked as I lost my balance when my board hit its high point behind me. Almost- but I kept myself together. I rode gravity down the opposite wave. Immediately I arced out and back to pick up speed, and did a 360 with a grab. Landed it. Then a 540. Landed it. I thought I might be pushing my luck. I’d probably break my leg climbing back into the boat.
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
It is easy to maintain a situation while it is still secure; It is easy to deal with a situation before symptoms develop; It is easy to break a thing when it is yet brittle; It is easy to dissolve a thing when it is yet minute. Deal with a thing while it is still nothing; Keep a thing in order before disorder sets in. A tree that can fill the span of a man's arms Grows from a downy tip; A terrace nine storeys high Rises from hodfuls of earth; A journey of a thousand miles Starts from beneath one's feet. Whoever does anything to it will ruin it; Whoever lays hold of it will lose it. Therefore the sage, because he does nothing, never ruins anything; And, because he does not lay hold of anything, loses nothing. In their enterprises the people Always ruin them when on the verge of success. Be as careful at the end as at the beginning And there will be no ruined enterprises. Therefore the sage desires not to desire And does not value goods which are hard to come by; Learns to be without learning And makes good the mistakes of the multitude In order to help the myriad creatures to be natural and to refrain from daring to act.
Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching)
The country, it seemed, was on the verge of a second civil war, this one over industrial slavery. But Frick was a gambler who cared little what the world thought of him. He was already a villain in the public’s eye, thanks to a disaster of epic proportions three years earlier. Frick and a band of wealthy friends had established the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club on land near an unused reservoir high in the hills above the small Pennsylvania city of Johnstown, 70 miles east of Pittsburgh. The club beautified the grounds around the dam but paid little attention to the dam itself, which held back the Conemaugh River and was in poor condition from years of neglect. On May 31, 1889, after heavy rainfall, the dam gave way, releasing nearly 5 billion gallons of water from Lake Conemaugh into Johnstown and killing 2,209 people. What became known as the Johnstown Flood caused $17 million in damages. Frick’s carefully crafted corporate structure for the club made it impossible for victims to pursue the financial assets of its members. Although he personally donated several thousands of dollars to relief efforts, Frick remained to many a scoundrel, the prototype of the uncaring robber baron of the Gilded Age.
James McGrath Morris (Revolution By Murder: Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, and the Plot to Kill Henry Clay Frick (Kindle Single))
Here’s what I know about Cole,” Jeremy said. Punctuated by the silence, it sounded like he was in a pulpit. “Cole’s religion is debunking the impossible. He doesn’t believe in impossible. He doesn’t believe in no. Cole’s religion is waiting for someone to tell him it can’t be done so he can do it. Anything. Doesn’t matter what that something is, so long as it can’t be done. Here’s an origin story for you. In the beginning of time there was an ocean and a void, and God made the ocean into the world and he made the void into Cole.” Victor laughed. “I thought you said you were a Buddhist,” Jan said. “Part-time,” Jeremy replied. Debunking the impossible. Now, the pines stretched up so high on either side of the road that it felt like I was tunneling to the middle of the world. Mercy Falls was an unnumbered stretch of miles behind me. I was sixteen again, and the road unwound in front of me, endless possibilities. I felt wiped clean, empty, forgiven. I could drive forever, anywhere. I could be anyone. But I felt the pull of Boundary Wood around me and, for once, the business of being Cole St. Clair no longer felt like such a curse. I had a purpose, a goal, and it was the impossible: finding a cure. I was so close.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
And as we stood there, a curious thing happened: a kind of window opened in the rain, just as if a cloud had been hitched aside like a curtain, and in the space between we saw a landscape that took our breath away. The high ground along which the road ran fell away through a black, woody belt, and beyond it, for more miles than you can imagine, lay the whole basin of the Black Country, clear, amazingly clear, with innumerable smokestacks rising out of it like the merchant shipping of the world laid up in an estuary at low tide, each chimney flying a great pennant of smoke that blew away eastward by the wind, and the whole scene bleared by the light of a sulphurous sunset. No one need ever tell me again that the Black Country isn't beautiful. In all Shrophire and Radnor we'd seen nothing to touch it for vastness and savagery. And then this apocalyptic light! It was like a landscape of the end of the world, and, curiously enough, though men had built the chimneys and fired the furnaces that fed the smoke, you felt that the magnificence of the scene owed nothing to them. Its beauty was singularly inhuman and its terror – for it was terrible, you know – elemental. It made me wonder why you people who were born and bred there ever write about anything else.
Francis Brett Young (Cold Harbour)
I trudge toward the porch, entertaining the idea of running the other way. But technically, I shouldn't be in any trouble. It wasn't my car. I'm not the one who got a ticket. Samantha Forza did. And the picture on Samantha Forza's driver's license looks a lot like Rayna. She told Officer Downing that she swerved to keep from hitting a camel, which Officer Downing graciously interpreted as a deer after she described it as "a hairy animal with four legs and a horn." Since no one formed a search party to look for either a camel or a unicorn, I figured we were in the clear. But from Mom's expression, I'm miles from clear. "Hi," I say as I reach the steps. "We'll see about that," she says, grabbing my face and shining a pen light in my eyes. I slap it away. "Really? You're checking my pupils? Really?" "Hal said you looked hazy," she says, clipping the pen back on the neckline of her scrubs. "Hal? Who's Hal?" "Hal is the paramedic who took your signature when you declined medical treatment. He radioed in to the hospital after he left you." "Oh. Well, then Hal would have noticed I was just in an accident, so I might have been a little out of it. Doesn't mean I was high." So it wasn't small-town gossip, it was small-county gossip. Good ole Hal's probably transported hundreds of patients to my mom in the ER two towns over. She scowls. "Why didn't you call me? Who is Samantha?" I sigh and push past her. There's no reason to have this conversation on the porch. She follows me into the house. "She's Galen's sister. I didn't call because I didn't have a signal on my cell. We were on a dead road." "Where was Galen? Why were you driving his car?" "He was home. We were just taking it for a drive. He didn't want to come." Technically, all these statements are true, so they sound believable when I say them. Mom snorts and secures the dead bolt on the front door. "Probably because he knows his sister is life threatening behind the wheel." "Probably.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The awfulness of sudden death and the glory of heaven stunned me! The thing that had been mystery at twilight, lay clear, pure, open in the rosy hue of dawn. Out of the gates of the morning poured a light which glorified the palaces and pyramids, purged and purified the afternoon's inscrutable clefts, swept away the shadows of the mesas, and bathed that broad, deep world of mighty mountains, stately spars of rock, sculptured cathedrals and alabaster terraces in an artist's dream of color. A pearl from heaven had burst, flinging its heart of fire into this chasm. A stream of opal flowed out of the sun, to touch each peak, mesa, dome, parapet, temple and tower, cliff and cleft into the new-born life of another day. I sat there for a long time and knew that every second the scene changed, yet I could not tell how. I knew I sat high over a hole of broken, splintered, barren mountains; I knew I could see a hundred miles of the length of it, and eighteen miles of the width of it, and a mile of the depth of it, and the shafts and rays of rose light on a million glancing, many-hued surfaces at once; but that knowledge was no help to me. I repeated a lot of meaningless superlatives to myself, and I found words inadequate and superfluous. The spectacle was too elusive and too great. It was life and death, heaven and hell.
Zane Grey (The Last of the Plainsmen)
Probably the first book that Hamilton absorbed was Malachy Postlethwayt’s Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce, a learned almanac of politics, economics, and geography that was crammed with articles about taxes, public debt, money, and banking. The dictionary took the form of two ponderous, folio-sized volumes, and it is touching to think of young Hamilton lugging them through the chaos of war. Hamilton would praise Postlethwayt as one of “the ablest masters of political arithmetic.” 13 A proponent of manufacturing, Postlethwayt gave the aide-de-camp a glimpse of a mixed economy in which government would both steer business activity and free individual energies. In the pay book one can see the future treasury wizard mastering the rudiments of finance. “When you can get more of foreign coin, [the] coin for your native exchange is said to be high and the reverse low,” Hamilton noted. 14 He also stocked his mind with basic information about the world: “The continent of Europe is 2600 miles long and 2800 miles broad”; 15 “Prague is the principal city of Bohemia, the principal part of the commerce of which is carried on by the Jews.” 16 He recorded tables from Postlethwayt showing infant-mortality rates, population growth, foreign-exchange rates, trade balances, and the total economic output of assorted nations.
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)
Inexpensive Progress Encase your legs in nylons, Bestride your hills with pylons O age without a soul; Away with gentle willows And all the elmy billows That through your valleys roll. Let's say goodbye to hedges And roads with grassy edges And winding country lanes; Let all things travel faster Where motor car is master Till only Speed remains. Destroy the ancient inn-signs But strew the roads with tin signs 'Keep Left,' 'M4,' 'Keep Out!' Command, instruction, warning, Repetitive adorning The rockeried roundabout; For every raw obscenity Must have its small 'amenity,' Its patch of shaven green, And hoardings look a wonder In banks of floribunda With floodlights in between. Leave no old village standing Which could provide a landing For aeroplanes to roar, But spare such cheap defacements As huts with shattered casements Unlived-in since the war. Let no provincial High Street Which might be your or my street Look as it used to do, But let the chain stores place here Their miles of black glass facia And traffic thunder through. And if there is some scenery, Some unpretentious greenery, Surviving anywhere, It does not need protecting For soon we'll be erecting A Power Station there. When all our roads are lighted By concrete monsters sited Like gallows overhead, Bathed in the yellow vomit Each monster belches from it, We'll know that we are dead.
John Betjeman (Collected Poems)
The cheapest orbit available is LEO (Low Earth Orbit). People often think that "orbit" means there's no gravity. This is incorrect. In fact, the International Space Station (which is in LEO right now) is usually around 250 miles high and experiences about 90% of the gravity you experience on Earth. So why do the astronauts float around like there's no gravity? Although they are pulled toward the Earth all the time, they always "miss" it. Think of it like this: Imagine you fire a cannonball from the top of a tower. If you fire it softly, the ball will go a little ways then fall to the ground. If you fire it incredibly fast, it will just fly off into space. But between falling right down and going off into space, there are a lot of intermediate regimes. For a given height, there is some speed that is slow enough that it can't leave Earth, but fast enough that you'll never plop to the ground. If you were ridong that cannonball, you'd be falling, because gravity is tugging you down. At the same time, because you're going so fast, you'd be able to see Earth's curve. As you move from a point on the globe in a straight line, Earth curves down and away from you, increasing your distance from the surface. At this particular speed, you have two balanced effects: Gravity wants you down low, but your speed keeps you up high. So you just keep going around and around. You "orbit.
Kelly Weinersmith (Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything)
This is textbook Bad Idea. We're driving with a stranger, no one knows where we are, and we have no way of getting in touch with anyone. This is exactly how people become statistics." "Exactly?" I asked, thinking of all the bizarre twists and turns that had led us to this place. Ben ceded the point with a sideways shrug. "Maybe not exactly. But still..." He let it go, and the cab eventually stopped at the edge of a remote, forested area. Sage got out and paid. "Everybody out!" Ben looked at me, one eyebrow raised. He was leaving the choice to me. I gave his knee a quick squeeze before I opened the door and we piled out of the car. Sage waited for the cab to drive away, then ducked onto a forest path, clearly assuming we'd follow. The path through the thick foliage was stunning in the moonlight, and I automatically released my camera from its bag. "I wish you wouldn't," Sage said without turning around. "You know I'm not one for visitors." "I'll refrain from selling the pictures to Travel and Leisure, then," I said, already snapping away. "Besides, I need something to take my mind off my feet." My shoes were still on the beach, where I'd kicked them off to dance. "Hey, I offered to carry you," Sage offered. "No, thank you." I suppose I should have been able to move swiftly and silently without my shoes, but I only managed to stab myself on something with every other footfall, giving me a sideways, hopping gait. Every few minutes Sage would hold out his arms, offering to carry me again. I grimaced and denied him each time. After what felt like about ten miles, even the photos weren't distracting enough. "How much farther?" I asked. "We're here." There was nothing in front of us but more trees. "Wow," Ben said, and I followed his eyes upward to see that several of the tree trunks were actually stilts supporting a beautifully hidden wood-and-glass cabin, set high among the branches. I was immediately charmed. "You live in a tree house," I said. I aimed my camera the façade, answering Sage's objection before he even said it. "For me, not for Architectural Digest." "Thank you," Sage said.
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
We were, as I have said, returning from a dip, and half-way up the High Street a cat darted out from one of the houses in front of us, and began to trot across the road. Montmorency gave a cry of joy – the cry of a stern warrior who sees his enemy given over to his hands – the sort of cry Cromwell might have uttered when the Scots came down the hill – and flew after his prey. His victim was a large black Tom. I never saw a larger cat, nor a more disreputable-looking cat. It had lost half its tail, one of its ears, and a fairly appreciable proportion of its nose. It was a long, sinewy- looking animal. It had a calm, contented air about it. Montmorency went for that poor cat at the rate of twenty miles an hour; but the cat did not hurry up – did not seem to have grasped the idea that its life was in danger. It trotted quietly on until its would-be assassin was within a yard of it, and then it turned round and sat down in the middle of the road, and looked at Montmorency with a gentle, inquiring expression, that said: “Yes! You want me?” Montmorency does not lack pluck; but there was something about the look of that cat that might have chilled the heart of the boldest dog. He stopped abruptly, and looked back at Tom. Neither spoke; but the conversation that one could imagine was clearly as follows:- THE CAT: “Can I do anything for you?” MONTMORENCY: “No – no, thanks.” THE CAT: “Don’t you mind speaking, if you really want anything, you know.” MONTMORENCY (BACKING DOWN THE HIGH STREET): “Oh, no – not at all – certainly – don’t you trouble. I – I am afraid I’ve made a mistake. I thought I knew you. Sorry I disturbed you.” THE CAT: “Not at all – quite a pleasure. Sure you don’t want anything, now?” MONTMORENCY (STILL BACKING): “Not at all, thanks – not at all – very kind of you. Good morning.” THE CAT: “Good-morning.” Then the cat rose, and continued his trot; and Montmorency, fitting what he calls his tail carefully into its groove, came back to us, and took up an unimportant position in the rear. To this day, if you say the word “Cats!” to Montmorency, he will visibly shrink and look up piteously at you, as if to say: “Please don’t.
Jerome K. Jerome
Nevertheless, there was something extraordinary about it when a man so young, with so little experience in flight test, was selected to go to Muroc Field in California for the XS–1 project. Muroc was up in the high elevations of the Mojave Desert. It looked like some fossil landscape that had long since been left behind by the rest of terrestrial evolution. It was full of huge dry lake beds, the biggest being Rogers Lake. Other than sagebrush the only vegetation was Joshua trees, twisted freaks of the plant world that looked like a cross between cactus and Japanese bonsai. They had a dark petrified green color and horribly crippled branches. At dusk the Joshua trees stood out in silhouette on the fossil wasteland like some arthritic nightmare. In the summer the temperature went up to 110 degrees as a matter of course, and the dry lake beds were covered in sand, and there would be windstorms and sandstorms right out of a Foreign Legion movie. At night it would drop to near freezing, and in December it would start raining, and the dry lakes would fill up with a few inches of water, and some sort of putrid prehistoric shrimps would work their way up from out of the ooze, and sea gulls would come flying in a hundred miles or more from the ocean, over the mountains, to gobble up these squirming little throwbacks. A person had to see it to believe it: flocks of sea gulls wheeling around in the air out in the middle of the high desert in the dead of winter and grazing on antediluvian crustaceans in the primordial ooze. When
Tom Wolfe (The Right Stuff)
That something I cannot yet define completely but the feeling comes when you write well and truly of something and know impersonally you have written in that way and those who are paid to read it and report on it do not like the subject so they say it is all a fake, yet you know its value absolutely; or when you do something which people do not consider a serious occupation and yet you know, truly, that it is as important and has always been as important as all th things that are in fashion, and when, on the sea, you are alone with it and know that this Gulf Stream you are living with, knowing, learning about, and loving, has moved, as it moves, since before man and that it has gone by the shoreline of that long, beautiful, unhappy island since before Columbus sighted it and that the things you find out about it, and those that have always lived in it are permanent and of value because that stream will flow, as it has flowed, after the Indians, after the Spaniards, after the British, after the Americans and after all the Cubans and all the systems of governments, the richness, the poverty, the martyrdom, the sacrifice and the venality and the cruelty are all gone as the high-piled scow of garbage, bright-colored, white-flecked, ill-smelling, now tilted on its side, spills off its load into the blue water, turning it a pale green to a depth of four or five fathoms as the load spreads across the surface, the sinkable part going down and the flotsam of palm fronds, corks, bottles, and used electric light globes, seasoned with an occasional condom or a deep floating corset, the torn leaves of a student's exercise book, a well-inflated dog, the occasional rat, the no-longer-distinguished cat; well shepherded by the boats of the garbage pickers who pluck their prizes with long poles, as interested, as intelligent, and as accurate as historians; they have the viewpoint; the stream, with no visible flow, takes five loads of this a day when things are going well in La Habana and in ten miles along the coast it is as clear and blue and unimpressed as it was ever before the tug hauled out the scow; and the palm fronds of our victories, the worn light bulbs of our discoveries and the empty condoms of our great loves float with no significance against one single, lasting thing - the stream.
Ernest Hemingway
Competition is the spice of sports; but if you make spice the whole meal you'll be sick. The simplest single-celled organism oscillates to a number of different frequencies, at the atomic, molecular, sub-cellular, and cellular levels. Microscopic movies of these organisms are striking for the ceaseless, rhythmic pulsation that is revealed. In an organism as complex as a human being, the frequencies of oscillation and the interactions between those frequencies are multitudinous. -George Leonard Learning any new skill involves relatively brief spurts of progress, each of which is followed by a slight decline to a plateau somewhat higher in most cases than that which preceded it…the upward spurts vary; the plateaus have their own dips and rises along the way…To take the master’s journey, you have to practice diligently, striving to hone your skills, to attain new levels of competence. But while doing so–and this is the inexorable–fact of the journey–you also have to be willing to spend most of your time on a plateau, to keep practicing even when you seem to be getting nowhere. (Mastery, p. 14-15). Backsliding is a universal experience. Every one of us resists significant change, no matter whether it’s for the worse or for the better. Our body, brain and behavior have a built-in tendency to stay the same within rather narrow limits, and to snap back when changed…Be aware of the way homeostasis works…Expect resistance and backlash. Realize that when the alarm bells start ringing, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sick or crazy or lazy or that you’ve made a bad decision in embarking on the journey of mastery. In fact, you might take these signals as an indication that your life is definitely changing–just what you’ve wanted….Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change. Our preoccupation with goals, results, and the quick fix has separated us from our own experiences…there are all of those chores that most of us can’t avoid: cleaning, straightening, raking leaves, shopping for groceries, driving the children to various activities, preparing food, washing dishes, washing the car, commuting, performing the routine, repetitive aspects of our jobs….Take driving, for instance. Say you need to drive ten miles to visit a friend. You might consider the trip itself as in-between-time, something to get over with. Or you could take it as an opportunity for the practice of mastery. In that case, you would approach your car in a state of full awareness…Take a moment to walk around the car and check its external condition, especially that of the tires…Open the door and get in the driver’s seat, performing the next series of actions as a ritual: fastening the seatbelt, adjusting the seat and the rearview mirror…As you begin moving, make a silent affirmation that you’ll take responsibility for the space all around your vehicle at all times…We tend to downgrade driving as a skill simply because it’s so common. Actually maneuvering a car through varying conditions of weather, traffic, and road surface calls for an extremely high level of perception, concentration, coordination, and judgement…Driving can be high art…Ultimately, nothing in this life is “commonplace,” nothing is “in between.” The threads that join your every act, your every thought, are infinite. All paths of mastery eventually merge. [Each person has a] vantage point that offers a truth of its own. We are the architects of creation and all things are connected through us. The Universe is continually at its work of restructuring itself at a higher, more complex, more elegant level . . . The intention of the universe is evolution. We exist as a locus of waves that spreads its influence to the ends of space and time. The whole of a thing is contained in each of its parts. We are completely, firmly, absolutely connected with all of existence. We are indeed in relationship to all that is.
George Leonard
Imagine a rotating sphere that is 8,000 miles in diameter, with a bumpy surface, surrounded by a 25-mile-deep mixture of different gases whose concentrations vary both spatially and over time, and heated, along with its surrounding gases, by a nuclear reactor 93 million miles away. Imagine also that this sphere is revolving around the nuclear reactor and that some locations are heated more during parts of the revolution. And imagine that this mixture of gases receives continually inputs from the surface below, generally calmly but sometimes through violent and highly localized injections. Then, imagine that after watching the gaseous mixture you are expected to predict its state at one location on the sphere one, two, or more days into the future. This is essentially the task encountered day by day by a weather forecaster.
Robert T. Ryan
Crossover' is a word scientists use to describe dolphins' soaring over seas, their traveling so free and fast, so high-spirited and almost effervescent that their sleek bodies barely skim the waves. The suggestion of splashes from tail and pectoral leaves a luminous wake across the water. For these crossover miles, the dolphins, like their human terrestrial mammal kin, belong more to the element of air than the sea.... Held in [the dolphins'] fluid embrace, I pulled my arms close against my sides and our communal speed increased... Racing around the lagoon, I opened my eyes again to see nothing but an emerald underwater blur. And then I remembered what I had either forgotten long ago or never quite fully realized. This feeling of being carried along by other animals was familiar. Animals had carried me all my life. I was a crossover--carried along in the generous and instructive slipstream of other species. And I had always navigated my life with them in mind, going between the human and animal worlds--a crossover myself. By including animals in my life I was always engaging with the Other, imagining the animal mind and life. For almost half a century, my bond with animals had shaped my character and revealed the world to me. At every turning point in my life an animal had mirrored or influenced my fate. Mine was not simply a life with other animals, but a life because of animals. It had been this way since my beginning, born on a forest lookout station in the High Sierras, surrounded by millions of acres of wilderness and many more animals than humans. Since infancy, the first faces I imprinted, the first faces I ever really loved, were animal.
Brenda Peterson (Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals)
We use the effect of centrifugal forces on matter to offer insight into the rotation rate of extreme cosmic objects. Consider pulsars. With some rotating at upward of a thousand revolutions per second, we know that they cannot be made of household ingredients, or they would spin themselves apart. In fact, if a pulsar rotated any faster, say 4,500 revolutions per second, its equator would be moving at the speed of light, which tells you that this material is unlike any other. To picture a pulsar, imagine the mass of the Sun packed into a ball the size of Manhattan. If that’s hard to do, then maybe it’s easier if you imagine stuffing about a hundred million elephants into a Chapstick casing. To reach this density, you must compress all the empty space that atoms enjoy around their nucleus and among their orbiting electrons. Doing so will crush nearly all (negatively charged) electrons into (positively charged) protons, creating a ball of (neutrally charged) neutrons with a crazy-high surface gravity. Under such conditions, a neutron star’s mountain range needn’t be any taller than the thickness of a sheet of paper for you to exert more energy climbing it than a rock climber on Earth would exert ascending a three-thousand-mile-high cliff. In short, where gravity is high, the high places tend to fall, filling in the low places—a phenomenon that sounds almost biblical, in preparing the way for the Lord: “Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain” (Isaiah 40:4). That’s a recipe for a sphere if there ever was one. For all these reasons, we expect pulsars to be the most perfectly shaped spheres in the universe.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
How Evolution Came to Indiana In Indianapolis they drive five hundred miles and end up where they started: survival of the fittest. In the swamps of Auburn and Elkhart, in the jungles of South Bend, one-cylinder chain-driven runabouts fall to air-cooled V-4’s, a-speed gearboxes, 16-horse flat-twin midships engines— carcasses left behind by monobloc motors, electric starters, 3-speed gears, six cylinders, 2-chain drive, overhead cams, supercharged to 88 miles an hour in second gear, the age of Leviathan ... There is grandeur in this view of life, as endless forms most beautiful and wonderful are being evolved. And then the drying up, the panic, the monsters dying: Elcar, Cord, Auburn, Duesenberg, Stutz—somewhere out there, the chassis of Studebakers, Marmons, Lafayettes, Bendixes, all rusting in high-octane smog, ashes to ashes, they end up where they started.
Philip Appleman
have spent most of my life outside, but for the last three years, I have been walking five miles a day, minimum, wherever I am, urban or rural, and can attest to the magnitude of the natural beauty that is left. Beauty worth seeing, worth singing, worth saving, whatever that word can mean now. There is beauty in a desert, even one that is expanding. There is beauty in the ocean, even one that is on the rise. And even if the jig is up, even if it is really game over, what better time to sing about the earth than when it is critically, even fatally wounded at our hands. Aren’t we more complex, more interesting, more multifaceted people if we do? What good has the hollow chuckle ever done anyone? Do we really keep ourselves from being hurt when we sneer instead of sob? If we pretend not to see the tenuous beauty that is still all around us, will it keep our hearts from breaking as we watch another mountain be clear-cut, as we watch North Dakota, as beautiful a state as there ever was, be poisoned for all time by hydraulic fracturing? If we abandon all hope right now, does that in some way protect us from some bigger pain later? If we never go for a walk in the beetle-killed forest, if we don’t take a swim in the algae-choked ocean, if we lock grandmother in a room for the last ten years of her life so we can practice and somehow accomplish the survival of her loss in advance, in what ways does it make our lives easier? In what ways does it impoverish us? We are all dying, and because of us, so is the earth. That’s the most terrible, the most painful in my entire repertoire of self-torturing thoughts. But it isn’t dead yet and neither are we. Are we going to drop the earth off at the vet, say goodbye at the door, and leave her to die in the hands of strangers? We can decide, even now, not to turn our backs on her in her illness. We can still decide not to let her die alone.
Pam Houston (Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country)
Wait in the car." He opened the door and started to climb out. "Hold on! How long should I give you? What if you don't come back in a certain number of minutes? Should I call the cops?" "Don't do anything. Don't call anyone. I'll be fine." "But what if you're not?" "Then go home." And with that, he got out and jogged down the street, like if I heard screams or gunshots or whatever I would just drive on home like nothing happened. Well, good for you, I thought, watching him climb a short cement staircase and put a key in the door. You don't need anyone. Fine. I watched the clock. Three minutes went by, four. I thought about knocking on the door, having of course no idea what I would actually do once I got there. Maybe I'd have to break the door down, wrestle Cameron away from the bad men, and then carry him out the way you hear people when they get a huge burst of adrenaline. Except the person I pictured rescuing was little Cameron, in shorts and a striped T-shirt, his arms wrapped around my neck. Then there he was, bursting out of the apartment door and bounding down the steps, a big garbage bag in hand. He ran to the car, fast. I reached over and opened the passenger door and he jumped in. "Go." You can't exactly peel out in a '94 Escort, but I did my best. Cameron breathed hard, clutching the garbage bag to his chest. "What happened?" I drove a good fifteen miles per hour over the speed limit, convinced we were being chased by angry roommates with guns. "Nothing. You can slow down." I didn't. "Nothing? Nothing happened?" "They weren't even there." Then I did slow down. "No one was there? At all?" "Right." His breathing had returned to almost normal. "Then what's the deal with freaking me out like that?" My voice came out high and hysterical and I realized how nervous I'd been, imagining some dangerous scenario from which Cameron had barely escaped, an echo of that day at his house. "I don't know. I started to picture one of them pulling up and finding me there and...I panicked.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
The remaining chain swung down, he wrenched the door out and he was free. The last thing he heard behind him was the oncoming stomp of running feet. Now began flight, that excruciating accompaniment to both the sleep-dream and the drug-dream as well. Down endless flights of stairs that seemed to have increased decimally since he had come up them so many days before. Four, fourteen, forty - there seemed no end to them, no bottom. Round and round he went, hand slapping at the worn guard-rail only at the turns to keep from bulleting head-on into the wall each time. The clamor had come out onto a landing high above him now, endless miles above him; a thin voice came shouting down the stair-well, "There he is! See him down there?" raising the hue and cry to the rest of the pack. Footsteps started cannonading down after him, like avenging thunder from on high. They only added wings to his effortless, almost cascading waterlike flight. Like a drunk, he was incapable of hurting himself. At one turning he went off his feet and rippled down the whole succeeding flight of stair-ribs like a wriggling snake. Then he got up again and plunged ahead, without consciousness of pain or smart. The whole staircase-structure seemed to hitch crazily from side to side with the velocity of his descent, but it was really he that was hitching. But behind him the oncoming thunder kept gaining. Then suddenly, after they'd kept on for hours, the stairs suddenly ended, he'd reached bottom at last. He tore out through a square of blackness at the end of the entrance-hall, and the kindly night received him, took him to itself - along with countless other things that stalk and kill and are dangerous if crossed. He had no knowledge of where he was; if he'd ever had, he'd lost it long ago. The drums of pursuit were still beating a rolling tattoo inside the tenement. He chose a direction at random, fled down the deserted street, the wand of light from a wan street-lamp flicking him in passing, so fast did he scurry by beneath it.
Cornell Woolrich (Marihuana)
And under the cicadas, deeper down that the longest taproot, between and beneath the rounded black rocks and slanting slabs of sandstone in the earth, ground water is creeping. Ground water seeps and slides, across and down, across and down, leaking from here to there, minutely at a rate of a mile a year. What a tug of waters goes on! There are flings and pulls in every direction at every moment. The world is a wild wrestle under the grass; earth shall be moved. What else is going on right this minute while ground water creeps under my feet? The galaxy is careening in a slow, muffled widening. If a million solar systems are born every hour, then surely hundreds burst into being as I shift my weight to the other elbow. The sun’s surface is now exploding; other stars implode and vanish, heavy and black, out of sight. Meteorites are arcing to earth invisibly all day long. On the planet, the winds are blowing: the polar easterlies, the westerlies, the northeast and southeast trades. Somewhere, someone under full sail is becalmed, in the horse latitudes, in the doldrums; in the northland, a trapper is maddened, crazed, by the eerie scent of the chinook, the sweater, a wind that can melt two feet of snow in a day. The pampero blows, and the tramontane, and the Boro, sirocco, levanter, mistral. Lick a finger; feel the now. Spring is seeping north, towards me and away from me, at sixteen miles a day. Along estuary banks of tidal rivers all over the world, snails in black clusters like currants are gliding up and down the stems of reed and sedge, migrating every moment with the dip and swing of tides. Behind me, Tinker Mountain is eroding one thousandth of an inch a year. The sharks I saw are roving up and down the coast. If the sharks cease roving, if they still their twist and rest for a moment, they die. They need new water pushed into their gills; they need dance. Somewhere east of me, on another continent, it is sunset, and starlings in breathtaking bands are winding high in the sky to their evening roost. The mantis egg cases are tied to the mock-orange hedge; within each case, within each egg, cells elongate, narrow, and split; cells bubble and curve inward, align, harden or hollow or stretch. And where are you now?
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
I like rainbows. We came back down to the meadow near the steaming terrace and sat in the river, just where one of the bigger hot streams poured into the cold water of the Ferris Fork. It is illegal – not to say suicidal – to bathe in any of the thermal features of the park. But when those features empty into the river, at what is called a hot pot, swimming and soaking are perfectly acceptable. So we were soaking off our long walk, talking about our favorite waterfalls, and discussing rainbows when it occurred to us that the moon was full. There wasn’t a hint of foul weather. And if you had a clear sky and a waterfall facing in just the right direction… Over the course of a couple of days we hked back down the canyon to the Boundary Creek Trail and followed it to Dunanda Falls, which is only about eight miles from the ranger station at the entrance to the park. Dunanda is a 150-foot-high plunge facing generally south, so that in the afternoons reliable rainbows dance over the rocks at its base. It is the archetype of all western waterfalls. Dunenda is an Indian name; in Shoshone it means “straight down,” which is a pretty good description of the plunge. ... …We had to walk three miles back toward the ranger station and our assigned campsite. We planned to set up our tents, eat, hang our food, and walk back to Dunanda Falls in the dark, using headlamps. We could be there by ten or eleven. At that time the full moon would clear the east ridge of the downriver canyon and would be shining directly on the fall. Walking at night is never a happy proposition, and this particular evening stroll involved five stream crossings, mostly on old logs, and took a lot longer than we’d anticipated. Still, we beat the moon to the fall. Most of us took up residence in one or another of the hot pots. Presently the moon, like a floodlight, rose over the canyon rim. The falling water took on a silver tinge, and the rock wall, which had looked gold under the sun, was now a slick black so the contrast of water and rock was incomparably stark. The pools below the lip of the fall were glowing, as from within, with a pale blue light. And then it started at the base of the fall: just a diagonal line in the spray that ran from the lower east to the upper west side of the wall. “It’s going to happen,” I told Kara, who was sitting beside me in one of the hot pots. Where falling water hit the rock at the base of the fall and exploded upward in vapor, the light was very bright. It concentrated itself in a shining ball. The diagonal line was above and slowly began to bend until, in the fullness of time (ten minutes, maybe), it formed a perfectly symmetrical bow, shining silver blue under the moon. The color was vaguely electrical. Kara said she could see colors in the moonbow, and when I looked very hard, I thought I could make out a faint line of reddish orange above, and some deep violet at the bottom. Both colors were very pale, flickering, like bad florescent light. In any case, it was exhilarating, the experience of a lifetime: an entirely perfect moonbow, silver and iridescent, all shining and spectral there at the base of Dunanda Falls. The hot pot itself was a luxury, and I considered myself a pretty swell fellow, doing all this for the sanity of city dwellers, who need such things more than anyone else. I even thought of naming the moonbow: Cahill’s Luminescence. Something like that. Otherwise, someone else might take credit for it.
Tim Cahill (Lost in My Own Backyard: A Walk in Yellowstone National Park)
The stars of the Milky Way galaxy trace a big, flat circle. With a diameter-to-thickness ratio of one thousand to one, our galaxy is flatter than the flattest flapjacks ever made. In fact, its proportions are better represented by a crépe or a tortilla. No, the Milky Way’s disk is not a sphere, but it probably began as one. We can understand the flatness by assuming the galaxy was once a big, spherical, slowly rotating ball of collapsing gas. During the collapse, the ball spun faster and faster, just as spinning figure skaters do when they draw their arms inward to increase their rotation rate. The galaxy naturally flattened pole-to-pole while the increasing centrifugal forces in the middle prevented collapse at midplane. Yes, if the Pillsbury Doughboy were a figure skater, then fast spins would be a high-risk activity. Any stars that happened to be formed within the Milky Way cloud before the collapse maintained large, plunging orbits. The remaining gas, which easily sticks to itself, like a mid-air collision of two hot marshmallows, got pinned at the mid-plane and is responsible for all subsequent generations of stars, including the Sun. The current Milky Way, which is neither collapsing nor expanding, is a gravitationally mature system where one can think of the orbiting stars above and below the disk as the skeletal remains of the original spherical gas cloud. This general flattening of objects that rotate is why Earth’s pole-to-pole diameter is smaller than its diameter at the equator. Not by much: three-tenths of one percent—about twenty-six miles. But Earth is small, mostly solid, and doesn’t rotate all that fast. At twenty-four hours per day, Earth carries anything on its equator at a mere 1,000 miles per hour. Consider the jumbo, fast-rotating, gaseous planet Saturn. Completing a day in just ten and a half hours, its equator revolves at 22,000 miles per hour and its pole-to-pole dimension is a full ten percent flatter than its middle, a difference noticeable even through a small amateur telescope. Flattened spheres are more generally called oblate spheroids, while spheres that are elongated pole-to-pole are called prolate. In everyday life, hamburgers and hot dogs make excellent (although somewhat extreme) examples of each shape. I don’t know about you, but the planet Saturn pops into my mind with every bite of a hamburger I take.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
September 10, 1965 Dear Francesca, Enclosed are two photographs. One is the shot I took of you in the pasture at sunrise. I hope you like it as much as I do. The other is of Roseman Bridge before I removed your note tacked to it. I sit here trolling the gray areas of my mind for every detail, every moment, of our time together. I ask myself over and over, “What happened to me in Madison County, Iowa?” And I struggle to bring it together. That’s why I wrote the little piece, “Falling from Dimension Z,” I have enclosed, as a way of trying to sift through my confusion. I look down the barrel of a lens, and you’re at the end of it. I begin work on an article, and I’m writing about you. I’m not even sure how I got back here from Iowa. Somehow the old truck brought me home, yet I barely remember the miles going by. A few weeks ago, I felt self-contained, reasonably content. Maybe not profoundly happy, maybe a little lonely, but at least content. All of that has changed. It’s clear to me now that I have been moving toward you and you toward me for a long time. Though neither of us was aware of the other before we met, there was a kind of mindless certainty humming blithely along beneath our ignorance that ensured we would come together. Like two solitary birds flying the great prairies by celestial reckoning, all of these years and lifetimes we have been moving toward one another. The road is a strange place. Shuffling along, I looked up and you were there walking across the grass toward my truck on an August day. In retrospect, it seems inevitable—it could not have been any other way—a case of what I call the high probability of the improbable. So here I am walking around with another person inside of me. Though I think I put it better the day we parted when I said there is a third person we have created from the two of us. And I am stalked now by that other entity. Somehow, we must see each other again. Any place, anytime. Call me if you ever need anything or simply want to see me. I’ll be there, pronto. Let me know if you can come out here sometime—anytime. I can arrange plane fare, if that’s a problem. I’m off to southeast India next week, but I’ll be back in late October. I Love You, Robert P. S., The photo project in Madison County turned out fine. Look for it in NG next year. Or tell me if you want me to send a copy of the issue when it’s published. Francesca Johnson set her brandy glass on the wide oak windowsill and stared at an eight-by-ten black-and-white photograph of herself.
Robert James Waller (The Bridges Of Madison County)
The crust [of the earth] is very thin. Estimates of its thickness range from a minimum of about twenty to a maximum of about forty miles. The crust is made of comparatively rigid, crystalline rock, but it is fractured in many places, and does not have great strength. Immediately under the crust is a layer that is thought to be extremely weak, because it is, presumably, too hot to crystallize. Moreover, it is thought that pressure at that depth renders the rock extremely plastic, so that it will yield easily to pressures. The rock at that depth is supposed to have high viscosity; that is, it is fluid but very stiff, as tar may be. It is known that a viscous material will yield easily to a comparatively slight pressure exerted over a long period of time, even though it may act as a solid when subjected to a sudden pressure, such as an earthquake wave. If a gentle push is exerted horizontally on the earth's crust, to shove it in a given direction, and if the push is maintained steadily for a long time, it is highly probable that the crust willl be displaced over this plastic and viscous lower layer. The crust, in this case, will move as a single unit, the whole crust at the same time. This idea has nothing whatever to do with the much discussed theory of drifting continents, according to which the continents drifted separately, in different directions. [...] Let us visualize briefly the consequences of a displacement of the whole crustal shell of the earth. First, there will be the changes in latitude. Places on the earth's surface will change their distances from the equator. Some will be shifted nearer the equator, and others farther away. Points on opposite sides of the earth will move in opposite directions. For example, if New York should be moved 2,000 miles south, the Indian Ocean, diametrically opposite, would have to be shifted 2,000 miles north. [...] Naturally, climatic changes will be more or less proportionate to changes in latitude, and, because areas on opposite sides of the globe will be moving in opposite directions, some areas will be getting colder while others get hotter; some will be undergoing radical changes of climate, some mild changes of climate, and some no changes at all. Along with the climatic changes, there will be many other consequences of a displacement of the crust. Because of the slight flattening of the earth, there will be stretching and compressional effects to crack and fold the crust, possibly contributing to the formation of mountain ranges. there will be changes in sea level, and many other consequences.
Charles H. Hapgood (Earth's Shifting Crust: A Key to Some Basic Problems of Earth Science)
And then, with a shock like high-voltage coursing through me, the phone beside me started pealing thinly. I just stood there and stared at it, blood draining from my face. A call to a tollbooth? It must, it must be a wrong number, somebody wanted the Information Booth or-! It must have been audible outside, with all I had the slide partly closed. One of the redcaps passing by turned, looked over, then started coming across toward where I was. To get rid of him I picked up the receiver, put it to my ear. 'You'd better come out now, time's up,' a flat, deadly voice said. 'They're calling your train, but you're not getting on that one - or any other.' 'Wh-where are talking from?' 'The next booth to yours,' the voice jeered. 'You forgot the glass inserts only reach halfway down.' The connection broke and a man's looming figure was shadowing the glass in front of my eyes, before I could even get the receiver back on the hook. I dropped it full-length, tensed my right arm to pound it through his face as soon as I shoved the glass aside. He had a revolver-bore for a top vest-button, trained on me. Two more had shown up behind him, from which direction I hadn't noticed. It was very dark in the booth now, their collective silhouettes shut out all the daylight. The station and all its friendly bustle was blotted out, had receded into the far background, a thousand miles away for all the help it could give me. I slapped the glass wearily aside, came slowly out. One of them flashed a badge - maybe Crow had loaned him his for the occasion. 'You're being arrested for putting slugs in that phone. It won't do any good to raise your voice and shriek for help, try to tell people different. But suit yourself.' I knew that as well as he; heads turned to stare after us by the dozens as they started with me in their midst through the station's main-level. But not one in all that crowd would have dared interfere with what they mistook for a legitimate arrest in the line of duty. The one with the badge kept it conspicuously tilted in his upturned palm, at sight of which the frozen onlookers slowly parted, made way for us through their midst. I was being led to my doom in full view of scores of people. ("Graves For The Living")
Cornell Woolrich