Quotations Weblog

Archives for 1998

Quotes of the Week: Spring and Gardening

April 26th, 1998 by Laura Moncur in Quotations

Every year it happens. People say that the weather is unpredictable, but every year the same thing happens. The weather in Salt Lake fooled everyone but me. Each Spring, the weather turns warm and beautiful. The tulips and daffodils are fooled into coming from their underground dens. The ducks mate without shame on the lawns. The humans plant tender flowers and vegetables. Then, like clockwork, the Winter is back with a vengeance, crushing the tulip and daffodils, chilling the duck eggs and killing the flowers and vegetables.

I escaped it this year. I was busy with my new life and working my butt off somewhere else, so my flowers didn’t get planted and my herbs sat in the kitchen window. My darling plants were spared the vengeance of the jealous winter this year. Spring is back for real now, and yesterday I planted my lovely flowers.

Here are some quotations about Spring.

Introduction and quote compilation by Laura S. Moncur, Staff Writer.

“Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.”
Victor Hugo

“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.”
Nadine Stair

“At Christmas I no more desire a rose Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth; But like of each thing that in season grows.”
William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour Lost

“The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, ‘In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!’”
John F. Kennedy

“Flowers never emit so sweet and strong a fragrance as before a storm. When a storm approaches thee, be as fragrant as a sweet-smelling flower.”
Jean Paul Richter

“Every year, back come Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.”
Dorothy Parker

Featured Books
The following books and tapes are available through Amazon.com:

For more information about Spring and Gardening, try these links:

  • An English Country Garden – A perfect English garden, including a to-do list of what to plant, reap, and cultivate month-by-month.
  • The (no) Problem Garden – Humor and inspiration.
  • Quotes of the Week: Bette Davis

    April 5th, 1998 by Laura Moncur in Biography

    April 5, 1908, Bette Davis was born. “Why in the world is she talking about Bette Davis?” I hear you asking yourself, but let me tell you this woman said at least a few interesting things that deserve merit. In addition to her fantastic career as an actress, she fought the contract system and was pivotal in its demise (along with many other actors like Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda and Ida Lupino).

    My only problem with Bette Davis has to do with two movies: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Jezebel. Both movies had been lauded to me as wonderful movies, but by the time I saw them, they were not nearly as good as my mind had made them. Jezebel seemed like a Gone With the Wind rip-off and Baby Jane was just disturbing. It wasn’t until I saw Of Human Bondage that I became acquainted with the ability of Bette Davis that compared with her legend. She was so naughty in that movie, that I hated her. Only a truly great actress can make me hate her.

    See what Bette had to say to the world.

    Introduction and quote compilation by Laura S. Moncur, Staff Writer.

    “This became a credo of mine…attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.”

    “I’d marry again if I found a man who had fifteen million dollars, would sign over half to me, and guarantee that he’d be dead within a year.”

    “With the newspaper strike on, I wouldn’t consider dying.”
    Bette Davis, on being told that her death was rumored

    “She’s the original good time that was had by all.”
    Bette Davis, about a starlet

    “Love is not enough. It must be the foundation, the cornerstone – but not the complete structure. It is much too pliable, too yielding.”

    Featured Books
    The following books and tapes are available through Amazon.com:
    • Of Human Bondage VHS Tape starring Bette Davis – The movie that haunted me is just as good today as it was when it was filmed.
    • Bette Davis Speaks Hardcover by Boze Hadleigh – An entire book of sarcastic remarks from Bette Davis. Read the online review from Amazon.com.
    • All About Bette : Her Life from A-Z Hardcover by Randall Riese – 504 pages about Bette Davis and her life. An odd design for a biography (items listed alphabetically), but informative none the less.
    • The Complete Films of Bette Davis Paperback by Gene Ringgold – A listing of all her films with critiques.

    For more information about Bette Davis, try these links:
    • Bette Davis Movies – A listing from Movies Unlimited of Bette Davis’ films available for purchase through them. Plot listings for all her films so you can choose your favorite at the video store.

  • Bette Davis Links – An incredibly well-webbed page (considering it’s from Geocities) that includes TONS of links to other Bette Davis sites.
  • Movie Quotes for All About Eve – A page devoted to quotations from that movie.
  • Quotes of the Week: Rene Descartes

    March 29th, 1998 by Laura Moncur in Biography

    Being a math major, I try to avoid waxing philosophical about important math people, so Rene Descartes should be off limits (I’m sure you are sighing with relief to know that I refrained from becoming poetic about Simon Laplace a few months ago). I could talk in reams about this mathematician, but few of you would enjoy a discourse about his work in solid analytic geometry or his solution of quartic equations. He is a person whose life appeals to the creative and the analytical alike. His legacy is claimed by both philosophers and mathematicians with fervor. Additionally, Descartes had the fortune of happy fame to utter one of the most quoted quotes, “Cogito, ergo sum.”

    March 31, 1596, Rene Descartes was born near Tours, France. Because of ill health, he developed a habit of lying in bed until late in the morning when he was fairly young. This time spent meditating was considered by Descartes as his most productive time of the day. In 1612, he moved to Paris, where he studied mathematics, but his most prolific stay was the twenty-year sojourn in Holland, where he wrote many of his famous works. Here is a selection from the world’s mathematician and philosopher.

    Introduction and quote compilation by Laura S. Moncur, Staff Writer.

    “Good sense is of all things in the world the most equally distributed, for everybody thinks he is so well supplied with it, that even those most difficult to please in all other matters never desire more of it than they already possess.”
    Le Discours de la Methode, 1637

    “Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.”

    “It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.”
    Le Discours de la Methode, 1637

    “If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”

    “It is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived.”

    “The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues.”
    Le Discours de la Methode, 1637

    “I am indeed amazed when I consider how weak my mind is and how prone to error.”

    “The first precept was never to accept a thing as true until I knew it as such without a single doubt.”
    Le Discours de la Methode, 1637

    “The long concatenations of simple and easy reasoning which geometricians use in achieving their most difficult demonstrations gave me occasion to imagine that all matters which may enter the human mind were interrelated in the same fashion.”

    “One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another.”
    Le Discours de la Methode, 1637

    “Perfect numbers like perfect men are very rare.”

    “I hope that posterity will judge me kindly, not only as to the things which I have explained, but also to those which I have intentionally omitted so as to leave to others the pleasure of discovery.”
    La Geometrie

    “I think, therefore I am.”
    Le Discours de la Methode, 1637

    Featured Books
    The following books and tapes are available through Amazon.com:
    • Descartes’ Error : Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain Paperback by Antonio R. Damasio – Turned on by philosophy? Check out this book that debates Descartes’ belief that the mind and body are separate entities. Read the reviews of this book on Amazon.com.
    • The Mathematical Experience Hardcover by Philip J. Davis, Reuben Hersh – Turned on by mathematics? This book reviews the history and beauty of a mathematical world, including contributions of Descartes. It was the winner of the 1983 American Book Award.
    • Discourse on Method and the Meditations Paperback by Rene Descartes – The two most quoted works by Descartes are available in this one book for a mere $5.56. Curl up by the fire, question your own existence, and read them for yourself.
    • Descartes : An Intellectual Biography Hardcover by Stephen Gaukroger – If you can’t get enough of the mathematician, here is a biography that goes into Descartes’ life in detail. Learn about the development of the man who rocked the philosophical and mathematical world.

    For more information about Rene Descartes, try these links:

  • Rene Descartes – Background and links regarding Descartes, his life and works. There is a much more detailed biography than I provided and links to his texts, plus a picture of the man.
  • Le Discours de la Methode – Many of the quotations above are from this work. Read it in its entirety here on the web.
  • René Descartes (1596-1650) – A biography from 1996 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia©, with HTML formatting and minor modifications by Christopher Furlong. There are links to Descartes’ works and other Descartes sites.
  • Quotes of the Week: The End of Prohibition

    March 22nd, 1998 by Laura Moncur in Quotations

    On March 22, 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the 21st amendment, making wine and beer with up to 3.2% alcohol legal. Prohibition was the common name for the 18th amendment, which outlawed the manufacture and distribution of alcohol. Prohibition brings to my mind the gangsters and flappers of the 1920′s, with the romance of the movies. I imagine myself knocking on the door of a speakeasy, saying the secret password, and being allowed into the tiny bar, which might not be there next week. Music and smoke fill the room and I come not only for the illegal liquor, but because it’s just so bad to do this sort of thing.

    Anyone not familiar with the liquor laws in Utah is thinking strictly in terms of zoot suits and feathers right now. Let me introduce you to my favorite Salt Lake club. You come to the door and you have to prove that you are a member of the facility in order to attend. Your identification and membership card are carefully scrutinized before you are allowed inside the door. The smoke filled rooms are rare in Utah (due to the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act) and the music is loud. Only here (and at select restaurants, if you know the secret words) are you able to have a real drink. Beer is available in beer taverns and breweries, but a nice glass of wine is less accessible.

    How I long for something different. Because of a combination of the liquor laws, and the Clean Air Act, I am unable to find a nice, clean, well lighted place for conversation, clean air, and a fruity drink with a splash of rum. There was a short story by Ernest Hemingway called “A Clean Well Lighted Place” which described a bar keep’s willingness to keep the bar open longer for a lonely old man. I wish that bar existed in Salt Lake, and quite frankly, I blame our laws for its absence.

    Here are some quotes about the curses and blessings of alcohol.

    Introduction and quote compilation by Laura S. Moncur, Staff Writer.

    “Instead of giving money to found colleges to promote learning, why don’t they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as good as the Prohibition one did, why, in five years we would have the smartest race of people on earth.”
    Will Rogers

    “Bacchus hath drowned more men than Neptune.”
    Thomas Fuller, M.D., Gnomologia, 1732

    “Thus a man is little less of a man after each drink he takes.”
    Richmond P. Hobson, Alabama Representative, December 22, 1914

    “Wine is like rain: when it falls on the mire it but makes it the fouler, / But when it strikes the good soil wakes it to beauty and bloom.”
    John Hay, “Distichs,” 1871

    “Bronze is the mirror of the form; wine, of the heart.”
    Aeschylus, Fragments, 525-456 B.C.

    “Candy / Is dandy / But liquor / Is quicker.”
    Ogden Nash, “Reflections on Ice-Breaking,” 1959

    “Drunkenness doesn’t create vices, but it brings them to the fore.”
    Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 100 A.D.

    “Too much and too little wine. Give him none, he cannot find truth; give him too much, the same.”
    Blaise Pascal, Pensees, 1670

    “an old stomach reforms more whiskey drinkers than a new resolve.”
    Don Marquis, “archy on this and that,” Archy Does His Part, 1935

    “Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, / Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.”
    Homer, Odyssey, 900 B.C.

    “Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why: / Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.”
    Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat

    “It’s the wise man who stays home when he’s drunk.”
    Euripides, The Cyclops, 425 B.C.

    “Drink moderately, for drunkenness neither keeps a secret, nor observes a promise.”
    Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605-15

    “Under a bad cloak there is often a good drinker.”
    Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605-15

    “What does drunkenness not accomplish? It unlocks secrets, confirms our hopes, urges the indolent into battle, lifts the burden from anxious minds, teaches new arts.”
    Horace, Epistles

    “Wine gives a man nothing. It neither gives him knowledge nor wit; it only animates a man, and enables him to bring out what a dread of the company has repressed.”
    Samuel Johnson, quoted in Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, April 28, 1778

    “You’d be surprised how much fun you can have sober. When you get the hang of it.”
    Joe (Jack Lemmon) in Days of Wine and Roses, 1962

    Featured Books
    The following books and tapes are available through Amazon.com:
    • Prohibition : Thirteen Years That Changed America Hardcover by Edward Behr – The truth about the Prohibition era from the romance to the violence. Read the reviews of this celebrated book.
    • Clean Well Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway – Read the story that lives so vividly in my mind for yourself. Decide if you wish for a cafe like this in your home town.
    • The Thinking Person’s Guide to Sobriety Paperback by Bert Pluymen – The best reviews for recovering from alcohol abuse are for this book. If you are searching for methods of attaining sobriety, check out the reviews of this book.

    For more information about Prohibition and Alcohol, try these links:
    • Temperance and Prohibition – a site run by Professor K. Austin Kerr about the Prohibition Era. It includes testimony from those wishing to install and abolish prohibition and general descriptions of the era. Watch out for the Java music though, it can take a while to download and quickly gets on your nerves if you stay at the site for too long.

  • Strat’s Place Wine Quotes – A collection of quotes about wine and drinking. Also includes links to other quotation sites.
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Distilled Spirits - Provided by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, so expect a very “pro-alcohol” view.
  • Is Alcohol Anonymous for You? – Worried that all this talk of drinking and alcohol is going to corrupt you? Take this simple test provided by Alcohol Anonymous to see if you need help. Also includes a link to their home page just in case you do.
  • Quotes of the Week: Adult Learning

    March 15th, 1998 by Laura Moncur in Quotations

    I started real estate school this week, so I have less time for this page than usual, but it brings to mind the activity of learning. For so many of my peers, this enjoyment is lost. Learning new concepts and ideas is difficult and scary. That is the thing I feared about being a “grown-up” more than anything in the world. I didn’t want my mind to rot.

    Fortunately, I’ve been blessed by the insatiable thirst for knowledge. I will never be old and decrepit as long as I am able to find something new and interesting to learn about. I never want to be like the old ladies who never use their microwave oven because they are scared of it. No matter what sort of Future Shock that may come my way, I want to learn about it.

    Here are some quotes to illustrate my emotions.

    Introduction and quote compilation by Laura S. Moncur, Staff Writer.

    “The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,/ And all the sweet serenity of books.”
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Morituri Salutamus,” 1875

    “What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge, and to tolerate ambiguity. In the end there are no certain answers.”
    Martina Horner, President of Radcliffe College

    “Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.”
    Eugene S. Wilson

    “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”
    Abigail Adams, 1780

    “Learning is not compulsory… neither is survival.”
    W. Edwards Deming

    “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”
    Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book

    “There are three ingredients to the good life; learning, earning, and yearning.”
    Christopher Morley

    “Never stop learning; knowledge doubles every fourteen months.”
    Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book

    “LEARNING, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.”
    Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), “The Devil’s Dictionary”, 1911

    Featured Books
    The following books and tapes are available through Amazon.com:
    • Future Shock Paperback by Alvin Toffler – This book, originally published in 1970, described the phenomenon of technological change and how it affects humans. Sounds boring? Just read the Reviews and Commentary section on this book and you’ll get an idea of how heated the discussion is.
    • The Adult Student’s Guide to Survival & Success Paperback by Al Siebert, Bernadine Gilpin – Not sold on the joys of learning after you receive your diploma? Check out this book that helps you rid yourself of the fears of returning to school after the absence we call life.
    • Back in School : A Guide for Adult Learners Paperback by Charles J. Shields – Yet another book to help you through this process of re-training yourself for study, learning and knowledge. The more you learn about learning, the less fear you will have.

    For more information about Adult Learning, try these links:
    • Yahoo Adult and Continuing Education – Inspired to go back to school? DO IT! Here are some institutions that provide education specifically for adults! Don’t wait one more day, or you’ll regret it.

  • Stringham Real Estate School – If you live in Utah and are interested in being a real estate agent, don’t choose any other school but this one. You get tons of information, study aids and great classes. Math phobic? They make the required calculations so easy, you’ll be praying for math questions on your licensing exam.

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