"Sometimes the truth is arrived at by adding all the little lies together and deducting them from the totality of what is known."
--Terry Pratchett, in Going Postal
"There were several from Port William who went and fought and came home and lived to be old men here, whose memories contained in silence the farthest distances of the world, terrible sights, terrible sufferings. Some of them were heroes. And they said not a word. They stood among us like monuments without inscriptions."
"I began to imagine something that I know I cannot actually imagine: a human storm of explosions and quakes and fire, a man-made natural disaster gathering itself up over a long time out of ignorance and hatred, greed and pride, selfishness and a silly love of power. I imagined it gathering up into armies of 'ignorant boys, killing each other' and passing like a wind-driven fire over the quiet land and the kind people. I knew then what Nathan knew all his life: It can happen anywhere."
--Wendell Berry, from Hannah Coulter, Chapter 21 "Okinawa"
“If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.”
“It’s a swift river, it’s a good boat; I don’t mind not having paddles.”
“The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to keep all the pieces”
“The first rule of getting out of holes is to stop digging”
--quoted by Carl Pope
“The truth about migration is that birds are conjured from the soft April air of a Gulf Coast sky. The blue is rolled up to make indigo buntings and cerulean warblers, the fog folds in on itself to birth gray catbirds and gnatcatchers, while the orange clouds at dusk give of themselves to create orioles. And the liquid gold of the afternoon sun is measured out, drop by precious drop, to form male prothonotary warblers. Once the sky is full to bursting with these new-made wonders, it lets them fall like snow on the land.
Poetic hogwash, you say? Suit yourself. I’ve seen it happen.”
--Scott Weidensaul, Living on the Wind
Time Travel Tenses
“One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of accidentally becoming your own mother or father…the major problem is quite simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr. Dan Streetmentioner’s Time Traveler’s Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. It will tell you, for instance, how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days…”
--Douglas Adams, in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe