Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Vincent van Gogh

To do good work, one must eat well, be well housed, have one's fling from time to time, smoke one's pipe, and drink one's coffee in peace.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mike Newell

I was very anxious to break the franchise out of this goody-two-shoes feel. It's my view that children are violent, dirty, corrupt anarchists. Just adults-in-waiting, basically.

--on taking over as director of the Harry Potter film series for the fourth installment, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mark Twain

I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Scott Adams

Here's a tip for falling asleep. I don't think you'll see it anywhere else. It goes like this: Don't think words.

 By that I mean don't imagine conversations that you plan to have, and don't replay in your head conversations you've had.It's impossible to clear your mind of all thoughts. But I find it somewhat easy to switch off the language center of my brain. What happens after that is a flow of images, starting with ones that make some sense to my current life, quickly followed by randomness, then sleep. It usually takes less than a minute.

 Let's say something is bugging you, or fascinating you, and the thought is keeping you awake. I'll bet that in those situations you're obsessed with the verbal elements of your problem. You're imagining what you will say to someone, or how you will explain yourself, or maybe what words someone else chose when annoying you.  To fall asleep, don't abandon the troublesome topic, because you probably can't. Just picture the situation in images alone. That will satisfy the part of you that can't let go of the problem while putting you on the sleep trajectory.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Louis Adamic

My grandfather always said that living is like licking honey off a thorn.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.

Friday, March 18, 2011

John Updike

Religions Consolation

One size fits all. The shape or coloration
of the god or high heaven matters less
than that there is one, somehow, somewhere, hearing
the hasty prayer and chalking up the mite
the widow brings to the temple. A child
alone with horrid verities cries out
for there to be a limit, a warm wall
whose stones give back an answer, however faint.

Strange, the extravagance of it—who needs
those eighteen-armed black Kalis, those musty saints
whose bones and bleeding wounds appall good taste,
those joss sticks, houris, gilded Buddhas, books
Moroni etched in tedious detail?
We do; we need more worlds. This one will fail.

From Americana and Other Poems. © Alfred A. Knopf, 2001.

Friday, March 11, 2011

John Hagelin

Enlightenment is our birthright. We're wired for it. It's what the human brain was designed to experience.

Candace Pert

Of course we have free will. Free will resides in our frontal cortex (lobe), and we can train ourselves to make more intelligent choices and to be more conscious of the choices we're making.

Lynne McTaggart

Reality is unset Jell-O. There's a big indeterminate sludge out there that's our potential life. And we, by our very act of involvement, we get that Jell-O to set. So we're intrinsic to the whole process of reality. Our involvement creates that reality.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald

Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.

Joshua Foer

There's actually a scientific term for jingles that get lodged in your head: earworms... A study published earlier this year (the researchers gave subjects the 'Catchy Tunes Questionnaire') found that the worst way to get rid of earworms is to try to get rid of earworms. The more you think about trying to forget them, the deeper they burrow. This is pretty much true about consciously trying to forget anything. There's even a name for the phenomenon: ironic processing. The best advice I've heard for making earworms go away is to just stop being irritated by them, and come to peace with the fact that you're humming Britney Spears.

--by Joshua Foer, memory expert and the author of Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

John Keats

I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion — I have shudder'd at it. I shudder no more — I could be martyr'd for my Religion — Love is my religion — I could die for that — I could die for you. My Creed is Love and you are its only tenet. You have ravish'd me away by a Power I cannot resist; and yet I could resist till I saw you; and even since I have seen you I have endeavoured often "to reason against the reasons of my Love." I can do that no more — the pain would be too great — My Love is selfish — I cannot breathe without you.

--in a letter to Fanny Brawn

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ira Glass

His favorite sorts of stories are the ones where there's "a cheerful embracing of life ... and a curiosity about the world," stories that "reassert the fact that we live in a world where joy and empathy and pleasure are all around us, there for the noticing," stories that "make the world seem like an exciting place to live." He said, "I come out of them feeling like a better person — more awake and more aware and more appreciative of everything around me. That's a hard thing for any kind of writing to accomplish."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Matt Damon

I had never really hung out in Miami and one night in the middle of the shoot, the crew, a couple guys, said, 'We're going to get a beer somewhere.' I said, 'I'm not really into it.' They said, 'Come on,' and kind of dragged me along. We ended up at a bar where my wife was the bartender. I literally saw her across a crowded room... and eight years and four kids later, that's my life. I don't know how else our paths would have crossed if that didn't happen... The moral is that when you're tired, suck it up and go to the bar because you might meet your wife.