Stop the Presses, LJ Index and more.
They Said It

Only the insane take themselves quite seriously.

—Sir Max Beerbohm

Before a mad scientist goes mad, there's probably a time when he's only partially mad. And this is the time when he's going to throw his best parties.

—Jack Handey

A quick change of transportation metaphors is now called for, from railroads to shipping, because however cleverly Michael Eisner, Rupert Murdoch, Steve Case and the rest of these broadband tycoons rearrange the deck chairs on their respective Titanics, an even more titanic iceberg with their names carved into it has already calved off some remote Arctic ice shelf and is inexorably drifting their way. That iceberg, of course, is the Internet.

—Christopher Locke

The network is a stochastic synchronicity generator.

—Christopher Locke

To be sexy, hackers need to learn how to emit fitness-to-reproduce signals.

—Eric S. Raymond

The average American has one breast and one testicle.


Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness.

—George W. Bush

Regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers.

—Cliff Claven, the character on Cheers

Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.

—William Faulkner

You know, it's at times like this when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young!

Why, what did she tell you?

I don't know, I didn't listen!

—Douglas Adams

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

—Douglas Adams

Science has lost a friend, literature has lost a luminary, the mountain gorilla and the black rhino have lost a gallant defender (he once climbed Kilimanjaro in a rhino suit to raise money to fight the cretinous trade in rhino horn), Apple Computer has lost its most eloquent apologist. And I have lost an irreplaceable intellectual companion and one of the kindest and funniest men I ever met. I officially received a happy piece of news yesterday, which would have delighted him. I wasn't allowed to tell anyone during the weeks I have secretly known about it, and now that I am allowed to it is too late.

—Richard Dawkins on Douglas Adams

We used the term open source not to piss off the fsf folks, but to claim a semantic space where we could talk about issues without scaring away the people whose beliefs we wanted to change.

—Eric S. Raymond

Great satire doesn't proceed from nihilism but from moral indignation. Compare Douglas Adams with Jonathan Swift.

—Eric S. Raymond

“Media relations” need to be outlawed in every country in the world. In the best case, media relations are incestuous relationships between dimwitted first cousins; on the Web it is one of the worst examples of inbreeding by the unholy alliance of ad agencies and pixel mechanics of dubious talent.

—The Head Lemur

It's a Diaper! No, It's a Sectional Bookcase!

Question: What's...

a ballpoint pena sectional bookcasea fire extinguishera vaginal fungicidea chemical for controlling eyespot or rynchosporium in barleya TV antennaa body appliancean eyeglass framea fauceta diapera hair salon

Answer: UNIX

Thanks for that information goes to none other than the operating system's most-credited creator, Dennis Ritchie. The full story is at his Bell Labs web site (cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/who/dmr/otherunix.html).