“Above, in the clear air and searching sunlight,  we are afoot with the quiet gods, and men can know each other and themselves for what they are.”

–Albert Mummery, Alpinist

“We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.”

–Carl Sagan

“… Perhaps the genius of ultra-running is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense. The ultra runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhaps better than anyone that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. In running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of their being — a call that asks who they are …”

–David Blaikie

.. Die first, quit later – just don’t give up, ever. And once you come to embrace that as a life philosophy – and it’s not about being relentless in an unpleasant way, it’s about being passionate and always believing in yourself – and once you do that suddenly everything is not only possible but probable…

–Bradley Trevor Grieve

A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame and money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well

–G. K. Chesterton

 Nothing is more certain than the defeat of a man who gives up

–George Sheehan

 Perhaps the genius of ultra-running is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense. The ultra-runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhaps better than anyone that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. In running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of their being — a call that asks who they are

–David Blaikie

 Being normal has always been one of my greatest fears. Living smack dab in the middle of the bell shaped curve would mean to excel at nothing. In the western world it would mean being fat and sedentary. It would mean having few if any interests beyond eating, sex and other forms of self gratification. It would mean having no interest in one’s own culture and society no less that of other countries.

Virtually everything worth accomplishing is done by the abnormal segment of the population. This is equally applicable to sports, intellectual pursuits and the arts. The truly astounding advancements come from those farthest removed from the norm.

I have never been satisfied with trying to be average at anything I attempt, I equate normalcy to not trying or caring. I think everyone no matter what their limitations can find some endeavour in which they can be positively abnormal. It’s unfortunate how few search out and exercise their gift. Whether it be ultra-running, playing a musical instrument or being a corporate executive the value is in achieving one’s potential, not in its importance to society as a whole.

– Unknown

 Whatever happened to just winging it? “He asks “our culture more and more cultivates the measureable, the predictable, the standardised. We have become too caught up trying to understand and diagnose everything. That’s absurd. Do you learn to swim by reading the stories of great swimmers and studying the kinesiology of the backstroke? No you get in the water and see what works

–Bradford Keeney

 $200k a year

Now, you’ve got three choices as I see it. You can live the rest of your life not making $200k/year, but being jealous of those who do. That’s just pathetic. Or, you can figure out what you have to do to make $200k/year yourself. That’s a waste of your life, but at least you’re not stewing with impotent envy. Or, you can realize now that having that kind of money isn’t worth anything, take pity on people who’ve wasted their precious life on acquiring it, and put your life into something worthwhile. What’ll it be?

 I began to assume my responsibilities – sometimes beyond my capabilities and I began to understand. I decided that my being should be dedicated to something useful for others. One of my favourite prayers says “so long as space remains, so long as sentient beings suffer and remain, I will remain in order to serve” this gives me a lot of comfort. This is the meaning of my life

–The Dalai Lama

 Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there

–Will Rogers

 There was a time when I knew it all. Then I became an ultra-runner

–George Beinhorn

 Courage is the capacity to move from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm in between

 Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work

–Gustave Flaubert

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who had endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”

–Galileo Galilei

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to teach him to hold in higher regard those who think alike than those who think differently.”

–F. Nietzche

“A little rebellion now and then is a good thing.”

–Thomas Jefferson

“One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.”


“He who saves one life saves the world entire.”

–The Talmud

“Here is a test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.”

–Richard Bach

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

–Douglas Adams

“It is one thing, to show a man that he is in an error, and another, to put him in posession of the truth.”

–John Locke

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

–Charles Darwin

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

–W. B. Yeats

“The single most important thing to know about Americans — the attitude which truly distinguishes them from the British, and explains much superficially odd behaviour — is that Americans believe that death is optional.”

–Jane Walmsley

 “Character is what you are in the dark.”

–F. Nietzche

 “To be normal is the ideal aim of the unsuccessful.”

–C. G. Jung

 “To refrain from imitation is the best revenge.”

–Marcus Aurelius

 “Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.”

–Albert von Szent-Gyorgy

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”


 “People must think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don’t realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world.”

–Calvin, “Calvin & Hobbes”

I have no problem with God. It’s his fan clubs I don’t get along with.

Once asked whether they believed in God, Laibach answered, “Yes, we believe in God, but unlike Americans we do not trust him.”

 War doesn’t determine who’s right. War determines who’s left.

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.

If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done.

 It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think.

The paradox of our time

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgement; more experts, yet more problems; more medicine, but less wellness. we drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life, we’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve done larger things but not better things. We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; big men and small character. Remember to say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent. Remember to say “i love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. a kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, time to speak; give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

 I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Quotes: (oops!!)

The greatest gift they say is to have a mind of brilliance

The greatest gift they say is to have a heart of gold

The greatest gift I say is to wake up in the morning and have the desire to live.


Treat adversity with equanimity


Time is a funny thing.

You pour it on a wound, and it heals.

You pour it on life and it dies.


Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no great genius without some touch of madness.

–Seneca (5 BC – 65 AD), Epistles

I don’t have to be good because they think I’m going to be good.

–Richard Feynman

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.

–Richard Feynman

Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed.

–Sir Winston Churchill

Life’s greatest gift is to be convinced that you are loved.

–Victor Hugo

Good design comes from experience. Experience comes from bad design.


In the field of observation, chance favours only the prepared mind.

— Louis Pasteur

The scientist describes what is; the engineer creates what never was.

— Theodore Von Kármán

A reasonable man adapts himself to suit his environment. An unreasonable man persists in attempting to adapt his environment to suit himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

— George Bernard Shaw

Generalizations are generally wrong.

— Butler Lampson

Beware of the man who won’t be bothered with details.

— William Feather

If you torture the data enough, it will confess.

— Ronald Coase

Less is more.

— Mies van der Rohe

Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.

— Winston Churchill

An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out and that the growing generation is familiarized with the idea from the beginning.

— Max Plank

Many undergraduates come to Caltech simply to enjoy the social life.

— Steve Taylor

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.

— Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.

— Wernher von Braun

Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.

— Vaclav Havel

If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.

— Anatole France

In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue.

— Winston Churchill

Brilliance is typically the act of an individual, but incredible stupidity can usually be traced to an organization.

— Jon Bentley

When you argue with a fool, chances are he is doing just the same.

— anonymous

Mathematics in general is fundamentally the science of self-evident things.

— F. Klein

Engineers think that theory approximates reality. Physicists think that reality approximates theory. Mathematicians never make the connection.

— anonymous

For many years it was believed that countless monkeys working on countless typewriters would eventually reproduce the genius of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the World Wide Web, we know this to be false.

— anonymous

Einstein was a genius: Head in the clouds, feet on the ground. But those of us who are not as tall, have to make a choice.

— Richard Feynman

I am not interested in what today’s mathematicians find interesting.

— Richard Feynman, in a letter to John Wheeler

The man who does not read good books is at no advantage over the man that can’t read them.

— Mark Twain

Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

— Mark Twain

Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.

— Mark Twain

Utility is when you have one telephone, luxury is when you have two, opulence is when you have three . . . and paradise is when you have none.

— Doug Larson

Last night as I went up the stair I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today I wish to God he’d go away.

— anonymous

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

In science, “fact” can only mean “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.” I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

— Stephen Jay Gould

A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.

— Paul Erdös

Pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere out in space, because there’s bugger all down here on earth.

— Monty Python

If an algorithm is going to fail, it should have the decency to quit soon.

— Gene Golub

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.

— Pablo Picasso

A distributed system is one in which the failure of a computer you didn’t even know existed can render your own computer unusable.

— Leslie Lamport

The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim.

— E. W. Dijkstra

Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.

— E. W. Dijkstra

. . . Meanwhile, those of us who can compute can hardly be expected to keep writing papers saying ‘I can do the following useless calculation in two seconds’, and indeed what editor would publish them?

— Oliver Atkin

Those who can, do. Those who can’t, simulate.

— anonymous

The problem with engineers is that they tend to cheat in order to get results. The problem with mathematicians is that they tend to work on toy problems in order to get results. The problem with program verifiers is that they tend to cheat at toy problems in order to get results.

— anonymous

At first I hoped that such a technically unsound project would collapse but I soon realized it was doomed to success. Almost anything in software can be implemented, sold, and even used given enough determination. There is nothing a mere scientist can say that will stand against the flood of a hundred million dollars. But there is one quality that cannot be purchased in this way—and that is reliability. The price of reliability is the pursuit of the utmost simplicity. It is a price which the very rich find most hard to pay.

— C.A.R. Hoare in The Emperor’s Old Clothes, Turing Award Lecture (27 October 1980)

There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.

— C. A. R. Hoare

Real programmers can write assembly code in any language.

— Larry Wall

Real Users never know what they want, but they always know when your program doesn’t deliver it.

— anonymous

Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon.

— Alan Perlis

When we write programs that “learn,” it turns out that we do and they don’t.

— Alan Perlis

I want electricity to become so cheap that only the rich can afford candles.

— T. Edison

Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.

— Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949.

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.

— Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.

I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.

— The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957.

But . . . what is it good for?

– Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.

— Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress.

— Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results

– Einstein