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Quotes 2009

"Religion is about faith, not evidence. Comparing science and religion isn't like comparing apples and oranges -- it's more like apples and sewing machines."
Jack Horner, Revenge of the Birds, Wired 17.03


"We choose our thoughts. We choose our perceptions. We choose our attitudes. We may not think so. We may not believe it, but we do. I absolutely know we do. I've seen enough evidence, time after time, tragedy after tragedy. Triumph after triumph. It's about choice."
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"Clothes, hairstyle, friends. Yes. It starts there. Life is choice. All day, everyday. Who we talk to, where we sit, what we say, how we say it. And our lives become defined by our choices. It's as simple and as complex as that. And as powerful."
Louise Penny, Still Life


"He'd seen it many times, people jockeying for position as chief mourner. It was always human and never pleasant and often misleading. Aid workers, when handing out food to starving people, quickly learn that the people fighting for it at the front are the people who need it the least. It's the people sitting quietly at the back, too weak to fight, who need it the most. And so too with tragedy. The people who don't insist on their sorrow can often be the ones who feel it most strongly."
Louise Penny, Still Life


"I think many people love their problems. Gives them all sorts of excuses for not growing up an getting on with life."
Louise Penny, Still Life


Life is change. If you aren't growing and evolving you're standing still, and the rest of the world is surging ahead. Most of these people are very immature. They lead "still" lives, waiting.

Waiting for what?

Waiting for someone to save them. Expecting someone to save them or at least protect them from the big, bad world. The thing is no one else can save them because the problem is theirs and so is the solution. Only they can get out of it.
Louise Penny, Still Life


"He searched her face, his icy-blue eyes keen and cold. She knew she should hold him, should tell him how much she loved him and trusted him and needed him. But something held her back. There is was again. A silence between them. Something else unsaid. Is this how it starts? ... Those chasms between couples, filled not with comfort and familiarity, but with too much unsaid, and too much said."
Louise Penny, Still Life


"Most societies start with gods and end with philosophy. ... They come eventually to realize that there are no gods, and the laws have been laid down by dead men."
Jack McDevitt, Eternity Road


"Tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do. Strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do."
Savielly Tartakover, Polish GM
Katherine Neville, The Eight


"The man who has only a hammer to work with finds that every new problem needs a nail."
Gregory Benford, Timescape


"There really isn't advice you can give everyone across the boards, except wear your heels as high as you possibly can... that is... if you really want to look a little better, or a little thinner or a little something or other... just make your heels as high you can take them."
Isaac Mizrahi, Holiday Style On A Budget, Weekend Edition Sunday, December 2008


"Maybe that was luxury's real function, as a distraction from the unbearable."
Clare Curzon, Death Prone


"The Peterson non-absolute ... said that any system aspiring to total organization and rationalism must leave itself an opportunity to break rules, break protocol, or it will inevitably suffer catastrophic failure."
Greg Bear, Moving Mars


"Nature is God's way of killing you."
Scott Adams, The Scott Adams Blog


"...the world is full of jerks. ... Racist jerks. Sexist jerks. Envious jerks. If you worry about the jerks, you'll never have any kind of life at all."
Jane Haddam, Not A Creature Was Stirring


Of all the things we keep inside the worst are the secrets. The things we are so ashamed of, so afraid of, we need to hide them even from ourselves. Secrets lead to delusion and delusion leads to lies, and lies create a wall.

Our secrets make us sick because they separate us from other people. Keep us alone. Turn us into fearful, angry, bitter people. Turn us against others, and finally against ourselves.
Louise Penny, The Cruelest Month


"In [his] experience Darwin was way wrong. The fittest didn't survive. They were killed by the idiocy of theirs neighbors, who continued to bumble along oblivious."
Louise Penny, The Brutal Telling


"Most unhappiness comes from not being able to sit quietly in a room."
Blaise Pascal
Louise Penny, The Brutal Telling


"There is no such thing as the supernatural. Everything, by definition, is natural. But you have to find out what the rules are."
Jack McDevitt, The Devil's Eye


"The ideal death, the death to be hoped for, is one that comes swiftly, out of the night, that takes you while you're enjoying the strawberries, and sweeps you away before you've had time even to know that the lights have gone out."
Jack McDevitt, The Devil's Eye


"Yes, there are occasional human monsters who show up and create havoc, but the day-to-day damage is usually done by people who mean well."
Jack McDevitt, The Devil's Eye


"If the two of you were lovers, she'd be wearing a great deal less underwear."
Jane Haddam, Act Of Darkness


"The addicts of crossword puzzles are ... distracting themselves. They ... don't want to face the world's grief head-on. They want that transient pleasure, endlessly repeated, of solving the Rubik's Cube of verbal intersection."
Nicholson Baker, The Anthologist