September 22: Humor

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.
September 22
Humor

728.
Quantum mechanic Seth Lloyd says the universe is one giant, hackable computer. Let’s hope it’s not running Windows.
~Kevin Kelly

729.
READ THIS BEFORE OPENING PACKAGE: According to certain suggested versions of the grand unified theory, the primary particles constituting this product may decay to nothingness within the next 1032 years.
~Engineering warning labelsfuture 2mb

 

September 21: Physicists

September 21
Physicists

724.
Truth and clarity are complementary.
~Niels Bohr, as quoted in Quantum Theory and the Flight from Realism : Philosophical Responses to Quantum Mechanics (2000) by Christopher Norris, p. 234

725.
It is not enough to be wrong. One must also be polite.
~Niels Bohr, as quoted in The Genius of Science: A Portrait Gallery (2000) by Abraham Pais, p. 24

725.
Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: Ye must have faith. It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with.
~Max Planck, Where Is Science Going? (1932)

726.
Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.
~Max Planck, Where Is Science Going? (1932)

727.
As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear-headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.
~Max Planck, “Das Wesen der Materie” [“The Nature of Matter”], speech at Florence, Italy (1944) (from Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Abt. Va, Rep. 11 Planck, Nr. 1797)

September 20: Change

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.
September 20
Change

720.
Since Sputnik and the satellites, the planet is enclosed in a manmade environment that ends “Nature” and turns the globe into a repertory theater to be programmed. Shakespeare at the Globe mentioning “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players” (As You Like It, Act II, Scene 7) has been justified by recent events in ways that would have struck him as entirely paradoxical. The results of living inside a proscenium arch of satellites is that the young now accept the public spaces of the earth as role-playing areas.
~Marshall McLuhan, From Cliché to Archetype (1970)

721.
The ordinary person senses the greatness of the odds against him even without thought or analysis, and he adapts his attitudes unconsciously. A huge passivity has settled on industrial society. For people carried about in mechanical vehicles, earning their living by waiting on machines, listening much of the waking day to canned music, watching packaged movie entertainment and capsulated news, for such people it would require an exceptional degree of awareness and an especial heroism of effort to be anything but supine consumers of processed goods.
~Marshall McLuhan, The Mechanical Bride (1951), p. 21

722.
Our journeys to the stars will be made on spaceships created by determined, hardworking scientists and engineers applying the principles of science, not aboard flying saucers piloted by little gray aliens from some other dimension.
~Robert A. Baker, “The Aliens Among Us: Hypnotic Regression Revisited“

723.
Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.
~Frank Borman, American astronaut

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September 19: Robots and UFOs

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.
September 19
Robots and UFOs

716.
[Immediately following the death of “Little Miss”]
Andrew Martin: Will every human being that I care for just . . . leave?
Portia: I’m afraid so . . .
Andrew Martin: That won’t do.
~Bicentennial Man, a 1999 film directed by Chris Columbus and starring Robin Williams and Sam Neill. The film was based on the novella of the same name by science fiction author Isaac Asimov.

717.
Optimus: It deeply grieves me that I have failed. But I will do everything in my power to ensure that no harm comes to our human friends – or any human – ever again.
June: Optimus… they’re children. They do not belong in your world. They should be worrying about grades, prom dates, pimples – not their own survival!
[A spark-to-heart in which Optimus and June don’t quite see eye to optic.]
~Transformers: Prime, “One to Rise Part One“

718.
The phenomenon of UFOs does exist, and it must be treated seriously.
~Mikhail Gorbachev, “Soviet Youth,” 4 May 1990

719.
I believe that these extraterrestrial vehicles and their crews are visiting this planet from other planets which obviously are a little more . . . advanced than we are. . .
~L. Gordon Cooper, astronaut, Mercury 7, letter to the United Nations, 1978

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September 18: Science Fiction Writers

September 18
Science Fiction Writers

714.

And what, you ask, does writing teach us?

First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is gift and a privilege, not a right. We must earn life once it has been awarded us. Life asks for rewards back because it has favored us with animation.

So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all.

~Ray Bradbury, Preface to Zen in the Art of Writing (1990)

715.

My own heroes are the dreamers, those men and women who tried to make the world a better place than when they found it, whether in small ways or great ones.

~George R. R. Martin

 

September 17: Holy Bible

September 17
Holy Bible

 

711.

I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, 5 and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, 6 but each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. All four of them had faces and wings, 9 and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved.

~Ezekiel 1:4−9

 

712.

10 Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. 11Such were their faces. They each had two wings spreading out upward, each wing touching that of the creature on either side; and each had two other wings covering its body. 12 Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13 The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. 14 The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.

15 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. 16 This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. 17 As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. 18 Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.

19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. 20 Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

~Ezekiel 1:10−21

 

713.

22 Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a vault, sparkling like crystal, and awesome. 23 Under the vault their wings were stretched out one toward the other, and each had two wings covering its body. 24 When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.

25 Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. 26 Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. 27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.

This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

~Ezekiel 1:22−28

September 17: Holy Bible

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.
September 17
Holy Bible

I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, 5 and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, 6 but each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. All four of them had faces and wings, 9 and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved.

~Ezekiel 1:4−9

 

10 Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. 11Such were their faces. They each had two wings spreading out upward, each wing touching that of the creature on either side; and each had two other wings covering its body. 12 Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13 The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. 14 The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.

15 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. 16 This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. 17 As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. 18 Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.

19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. 20 Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

~Ezekiel 1:10−21

 

713.

22 Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a vault, sparkling like crystal, and awesome. 23 Under the vault their wings were stretched out one toward the other, and each had two wings covering its body. 24 When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.

25 Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. 26 Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. 27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.

This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

~Ezekiel 1:22−28

 

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September 16: War and Peace

September 16
War and Peace

708.
Wars are not favorable to delicate pleasures.
~J. R. R. Tolkien, “A Secret Vice” (lecture, 1931), published in The Monsters And The Critics And Other Essays (1983), edited by Christopher Tolkien

709.
You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.
~Albert Einstein

710.
War hath no fury like a noncombatant.
~Charles Edward Montague, Disenchantment

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September 15: Futurists

September 15
Futurists

705.
Clarke’s First Law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
~“Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination” in Profiles of the Future (1962)

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.

Perhaps the adjective “elderly” requires definition. In physics, mathematics, and astronautics it means over thirty; in the other disciplines, senile decay is sometimes postponed to the forties. There are, of course, glorious exceptions; but as every researcher just out of college knows, scientists of over fifty are good for nothing but board meetings, and should at all costs be kept out of the laboratory!
~Arthur C. Clarke, “Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination“ in Profiles of the Future (1962; as revised in 1973)

706.
Clarke’s Second Law: The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
~Arthur C. Clarke, “Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination“ in Profiles of the Future (1962)

707.
Clarke’s Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
~Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of the Future (revised edition, 1973)

706.
Clarke’s Law of Revolutionary Ideas: Every revolutionary idea — in science, politics, art, or whatever — seems to evoke three stages of reaction. They may be summed up by the phrases:

(1) “It’s completely impossible—don’t waste my time”;
(2) “It’s possible, but it’s not worth doing”;
(3) “I said it was a good idea all along.”

~Arthur C. Clarke, The Promise of Space (1968). This and similar statements attributed to Mahatma Gandhi and J. B. S. Haldane may ultimately be derived from a statement attributed to Arthur Schopenhauer:
All truth passes through three stages.
First it is ridiculed.
Second it is violently opposed.
And third it is accepted as self-evident.
As quoted in Seeds of Peace : A Catalogue of Quotations (1986) by Jeanne Larson, Madge Micheels-Cyrus, p. 244.

707.
Science demands patience.
~Arthur C. Clarke, The Light of Other Days (2000)

 

September 14: Writers

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.
September 14
Writers

702.
I believe that the medical treatment of the various abnormal conditions arising in infants is in the future to be largely dietetic rather than by means of drugs.
~Thomas M. Rotch, preface to the First Edition (Oct. 1895) in Pediatrics: the hygienic and medical treatment of children (5th. ed., 1906), ix.

703.
I just want to say one word to you—just one word . . . “plastics!” . . . There’s a great future in plastics.
~Buck Henry, advice by Mr. McGuire, a Los Angeles businessman to Ben Braddock (acted by Dustin Hoffman) in movie The Graduate (1967), based on the book by Charles Webb. In Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair’s Tales of Hollywood: Rebels, Reds, and Graduates and the Wild Stories of 13 Iconic Films the scene is attributed solely to Buck Henry (it did not appear in the original book) who added it when he took over the script writing from Calder Willingham.

704.
If . . . the past may be no rule for the future, all experience becomes useless and can give rise to no inference or conclusion.
~David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), ed. L. A. Selby-Bigge (1894), section 4, part 2, pp. 37-8