Monday, May 18, 2009

"The American biologist Roger Payne has calculated the there is a deep sound channel in the ocean… through which two whales could communicate with each other essentially anywhere in the world... through most of their history the whales seem to have established a global communication network. What two whales might have to say to each other separated by 15,000 kilometers I haven't the foggiest idea but maybe it's a lovesong cast into the vastness of the deep"

Carl Sagan - The Cosmos, The Persistence of Memory, 1980

Thursday, May 14, 2009

An eccentric genius should, on his dying day, arrange for the theft of several very important (and durable) cultural icons, these to be placed atop a large booster rocket and sent to Mars.

Want them back, Earth? Go get them.

(From the idea that, when faced with a tall fence in one's way, one should toss one's hat over as added incentive or excuse for climbing the fence.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Professor: I'm of the personal opinion that anything counts for art. Take, for example, Nelly's "Hot in Here." We have an admonition of certain weather conditions and an entreaty for certain members of a demographic to react within a certain way, and a compliant voice replies, "I am getting so hot, I'm gonna take my clothes off." This piece of art demonstrates how much easier life would be if getting a woman naked was that easy. And also, it makes me dance, and as we know, hips don't lie.

--NYU Bobst Library
Overheard in New York
"Maria Callas once said, 'When you perform, half of the brain has to be in complete control and the other half of the brain has to be at a complete loss.'"
- From an interview with Marina Abramovic, performance artist

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"When you go below ground in New York City, are you going underground or are you going deeper inside a building?"
- Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG

Monday, April 13, 2009

"He's the kind of man a woman would have to marry to get rid of."
Mae West via Tom Waits True Confessions

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"You came to me this morning
and you handled me like meat.
You'd have to live alone to know
how good that feels, how sweet.
My mirror twin, my next of kin,
I'd know you in my sleep.
And who but you would take me in
A thousand kisses deep?"
- Leonard Cohen, a draft of the song/poem "A Thousand Kisses Deep"

Friday, April 3, 2009

"In April 1981, at my request, my mother went to a detective agency. She hired them to follow me, to report on my daily activities, and to provide photographic evidence of my existence."
- Sophie Calle, from her photographic series The Shadow

Thursday, April 2, 2009

"During the night, the mist on the window had turned to ice. I see that it was still night, six-thirty, seven o’clock; wintertime then, and dark outside; no details, only darkness; the windowpane covered with the patterns of the frozen mist; on the lowest pane, on the left-hand side of the window, at eye level, in the light; this light from an electric bulb, yellow against the intense darkness outside, opaque and wintry, clouded by the mist; not a uniform mist, as when it rains, but an almost transparent frost, forming patterns; a web of translucent patterns, with a certain thickness, the slight thickness of frost, but with variations in this thickness, and, because of these miniscule variations, forming patterns on the glass, like a vegetal network, an entire system of veins, a surface vegetation, a cluster of flat ferns; or a flower."
- from Jacques Roubaud's novel The Loop, found on This Space

Monday, March 30, 2009

"Remember your humanity, and forget the rest." bertrand Russell
- Russell-Einstein Manifesto (on nuclear disarmament), 1955

Friday, March 27, 2009

"In Casablanca, the director put Ingrid Bergman on the right side of the screen whenever possible, since Westerners usually start looking on the left and rest on the right (and she's a lot better looking than Humphrey Bogart)."
- Caterina, Flickr founder, describing why interesting stuff should be on the right side of a web page

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"...and she slapped me so hard the piano quit playing."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"An ocean of any kind presents itself a mystery - even an ocean of data."
- Kevin Kelly, on self-tracking from The Quantified Self

Monday, March 16, 2009

"What are you rebelling against?" "What have you got?"
- Johnny Strabler, The Wild One (1953)

Friday, March 13, 2009

"She said: What is history?
And he said: History is an angel being blown backwards into the future
He said: History is a pile of debris
And the angel wants to go back and fix things
To repair the things that have been broken
But there is a storm blowing from Paradise
And the storm keeps blowing the angel backwards into the future
And this storm, this storm is called Progress"
- Laurie Anderson, The Dream Before (for Walter Benjamin)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"A homeless lady told me that I played her favorite song - ‘Over the Rainbow’. She said that when she was young she used to write the lyrics of this song on paper. She stays in the terminal on the Staten Island side. She has a boyfriend for 4 months now. She has family in Israel but she doesn’t know where and she is afraid of flying. Yesterday somebody offered her a bed but she refused it because she didn’t want to leave her boyfriend behind in the terminal. He gets bad dreams and she has to calm him down."
From Saw Lady's Blog

Monday, March 9, 2009

"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end."
-Anonymous, by way of Ffffound

Friday, March 6, 2009

"A recent long-term study conducted in Scandinavia sought to discover which activities related to a healthy and happy later life. Three stood out: camping, dancing and singing."
- Brian Eno, by way of Caterina

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"A 27-year-old man had the delusion that the voice he heard throughout the day was that of an invisible girlfriend. His girlfriend gave him advice and told him to do things. At night she would come to him, although still invisible, and they would make love."
- 1993 paper from the American Journal of Psychiatry, found on Mindhacks.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” -Mark Twain

"Who wouldn't want to be in the roller derby? But you need insurance. Too bad."
- Overhead at Bowery Poetry Club

Monday, March 2, 2009

"The next time you say "forever" I will punch you in your face."
- Neko Case
"Social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. No one actually knows how. When finally done, there is surprise it's not better."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Nobody with a good car needs to be justified."
-Flannery O'Connor, quote found on Facebook.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"the New York Post is no longer merely a journalistic problem. It is a social problem--a force for evil."
- Columbia Journalism Review

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"The welfare of the people has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience"
-Albert Camus

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"I've wined and dined on mulligan stew and never wished for turkey as I hitched and hiked and grifted, too, from Maine to Albuquerque...Social circles spin too fast for me. My Hobohemia is the place to be."
- Rodgers & Hart, "The Lady Is a Tramp"
"The next time they send me a work order with no specs.... The next email is gonna be in all caps!"
- unknown, heard on street
Think of professional wrestling as a performance art, like synchronized swimming or tango dancing.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"Back at Grand Central Terminal, we initiated N into the mysteries of the whispering gallery."
- the Brooklyn Bachelor

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"Anything is possible, you just have to know the right guy"
- Unknown, possibly altered or never said at all.
"This is my entire practice right here"
- Susan, accountant, as she points to a box full of 3.5" floppy disks.
"Do you need a webolution?"
- The slightly tipsy husband of a friend coins a new word.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Saved, rescued, fished-up, half-drowned, out of the deep, dark river, dry clothes, hair shampooed and set. Nobody would know I had ever been in it."
- Jean Rhys Good Morning, Midnight by way of the excellent blog Tomorrow Museum.

Monday, February 2, 2009

"Love stands in with the loan sharks when your heart's in pawn."
- Misheard song lyric from Billie Holiday's "Loveless Love"

Saturday, January 31, 2009

"A pretty girl is like a violent crime; if you do it wrong you could do time."
Magnetic Fields - A Pretty Girl is Like

Friday, January 30, 2009

The questions that we ask ourselves become more aggressive when we are not tethered to our responsibilities.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Being too cautious is the greatest risk of all."
- Jawaharlal Nehru, spotted in Olya's email signature line

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"...and just how far do you think you might be goin' mister?" He said "baby that all depends on uh, what you mean. Cuz I'm only stopping here tonight cuz I gotta get myself some gasoline. And I guess I'm goin' out thataway. Leastwise as long as it's paved and I guess you'd say I'm on my way to, Burma Shave." She said "that's cool." "Why don't you put your knees up on the glove compartment?" Well she took out her barretts and man, her hair spilled out just like root beer. And she popped her gum and she arched her back and She said "Man, this little town don't amount to nothing. It's just a wide spot in the road. Some nights my heart pounds like thunder and I don't know why but I wanna explode and everybody in this stinkin' town has got one foot in the grave. and I'm gonna take my chances with you tonight, all the way to Burma Shave..."

Tom Waits from live performance of Pasties and a G String/Burma Shave
"Don't tell them that you have no experience. Tell them that you don't have a problem doing it... It's not lying."
-IT Recruiter
"She had nothing in this world but her two hands and her crazy love for Jesus, who seemed, for his part, never to have heard of her."
- Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"I kill time only when I'm wedged in by it on all sides."
- Michael Guista from the story "Filling the Space Between Us."
Fast and redundant data-link connectivity is no help if your routing tables are shot!
-Tom Lammle CCENT Study Guide

Monday, January 26, 2009

"I'm looking out for rain with every grain of hope I sow."
- Laura Cantrell, heard through my headphones on the F train

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Prerequisite for growth: The relentless commitment to the TRUTH about REALITY.
- inspirational tearout, unknown
Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life.
- Simone Weil