Altogether forty-five Emperors had claimed the Spear of Destiny as their possession between the coronation in Rome of Charlemagne and the fall of the old German Empire exactly a thousand years later. And what a pagentry it was! THe Spear had passed like the very finger of destiny through the millenium forever creating new patterns of fate which had again and again changed the entire history of Europe. ... According to the legend associated with the Spear of Longinus, the claimant to this talisman of power has a choice between the service of two opposing Spirits in the fulfilment of his world historic aims -- a Good and an Evil Spirit.
For twenty-five years I've been speaking and writing in defense of your right to happiness in this world, condemning your inability to take what is your due, to secure what you won in bloody battles on the barricades of Paris and Vienna, in the American Civil War, in the Russian Revolution. Your Paris ended with Petain and Laval, your Vienna with Hitler, your Russia with Stalin, and your America may well end in the rule of the Ku Klux Klan! You've been more successful in winning your freedom than in securing it for yourself and others. This I knew long ago. What I did not understand was why time and again, after fighting your way out of a swamp, you sank into a worse one. Then groping and cautiously looking about me, I gradually found out what has enslaved you: YOUR SLAVE DRIVER IS YOU YOURSELF. No one is to blame for your slavery but you yourself. No one else, I say!
When two people meet and fall in love, there's a sudden rush of magic. Magic is just naturally present then. We tend to feed on that gratuitous magic without striving to make any more. One day we wake up and find that the magic is gone. We hustle to get it back, but by then it's usually too late, we've used it up. What we have to do is work like hell at making additional magic right from the start. It's hard work, but if we can remember to do it, we greatly improve our chances of making love stay.
The point I’m trying to make is that I am the most unpleasant, rude, ignorant, and all-around obnoxious arsehole that anyone could possibly have the misfortune to meet. I am dismissive of the virtuous, unaware of the beautiful, and uncomprehending in the face of the happy. So if I didn’t understand I was being asked to be the best man, it is because I never expected to be anybody’s best friend, and certainly not the best friend of the bravest and kindest and wisest human being I have ever had the good fortune of knowing. John, I am a ridiculous man, redeemed only by the warmth and constancy of your friendship. But as I am apparently your best friend, I cannot congratulate you on your choice of companion. Actually, now I can. Mary, when I say you deserve this man, it is the highest compliment of which I am capable. John, you have endured war, and injury, and tragic loss — so sorry again about that last one. So know this: Today, you sit between the woman you have made your wife and the man you have saved. In short, the two people who love you most in all this world. And I know I speak for Mary as well when I say we will never let you down, and we have a lifetime ahead to prove that. Now, on to some funny stories about John...
We used to play a lot of two-on-two. My dad put a hoop up in our garage. We played in the winter and at least two or three times a week in the summer. It helped having three older brothers push you around. It made you stronger. They also teach you how to shoot, how to make post up moves. It was a very good thing to have three older brothers teach you the fundamentals of the game.
The capitalist and consumerist ethics are two sides of the same coin, a merger of two commandments. The supreme commandment of the rich is ‘Invest!’ The supreme commandment of the rest of us is ‘Buy!’ The capitalist–consumerist ethic is revolutionary in another respect. Most previous ethical systems presented people with a pretty tough deal. They were promised paradise, but only if they cultivated compassion and tolerance, overcame craving and anger, and restrained their selfish interests. This was too tough for most. The history of ethics is a sad tale of wonderful ideals that nobody can live up to. Most Christians did not imitate Christ, most Buddhists failed to follow Buddha, and most Confucians would have caused Confucius a temper tantrum. In contrast, most people today successfully live up to the capitalist–consumerist ideal. The new ethic promises paradise on condition that the rich remain greedy and spend their time making more money and that the masses give free reign to their cravings and passions and buy more and more. This is the first religion in history whose followers actually do what they are asked to do. How though do we know that we'll really get paradise in return? We've seen it on television.
My advice was to start a policy of making reversible decisions before anyone left the meeting or the office. In a startup, it doesn’t matter if you’re 100 percent right 100 percent of the time. What matters is having forward momentum and a tight fact-based data/metrics feedback loop to help you quickly recognize and reverse any incorrect decisions. That’s why startups are agile. By the time a big company gets the committee to organize the subcommittee to pick a meeting date, your startup could have made 20 decisions, reversed five of them and implemented the fifteen that worked.
. . . and what are you exactly, my friend? Their subordinate? Their employee? Or, I would suggest, their equal? That's what young Karl would certainly have said, and probably still does. Unless he's no longer alive.' Dodger gave Solomon and strange look and Solomon hastened to clarify. "'Mmmm, as I recall, if you go around telling people that they are downtrodden, you tend to make two separate enemies: the people who are doing the downtreading and have no intention of stopping, and the people who are downtrodden, but nevertheless -- people being who they are -- don't want to know. They can get quite nasty about it.' (205)
The land around Ankh-Morpork is fertile and largely given over to the cabbage fields that help to give the city its distinctive odor.The gray light of pre-dawn unrolled over the blue-green expanse, and around a couple of farmers who were making an early start on the spinach harvest.They looked up, not at a sound, but at a travelling point of silence where sound ought to have been.It was a man and a woman and something like a size five man in a size twelve fur coat, all in a chariot that flickered as it moved. It bowled along the road toward Holy Wood and was soon out of sight. A minute or two later it was followed by a wheelchair. Its axle glowed red-hot. It was full of people screaming at one another. One of them was turning a handle on a box.It was so overburdened that wizards occasionally fell off and ran along after it, shouting, until they had a chance to jump on again and start screaming.Whoever was attempting to steer was not succeeding, and it weaved back and forth across the road and eventually hurtled off it completely and through the side of a barn.One of the farmers nudged the other."Oi've seen this on the clicks," he said. "It's always the same. They crash into a barn and they allus comes out the other side covered in squawking chickens."His companion leaned reflectively on his hoe."It'd be a sight worth seeing that," he said."Sure would.""'Cos all there is in there, boy, is twenty ton of cabbage."There was a crash, and the chair erupted from the barn in a shower of chickens and headed madly toward the road.The farmers looked at one another."Well, dang me," said one of them.
These results contain two very good pieces of news for the millions of Americans who have elevated blood pressure. Our previous research showed that making multiple lifestyle changes -- eating a healthier diet and increasing physical activity -- for a short-term period of six months led to significant reductions in blood pressure. Now we know that sustaining these lifestyle changes for the longer period of 18 months also leads to substantial blood pressure reductions. This is very good news because the longer people can keep their blood pressure down, the better it is for their heart health. The other good news is that this study shows that people can make and sustain these lifestyle changes over a fairly long time period.
Was it like this then? Seventy-five years or so ago? Did a group of people sit around and cast their votes on initiating the Hunger Games? Was there dissent? Did someone make a case for mercy that was beaten down by the calls for the deaths of the districts' children? The scent of Snow's rose curls up into my nose, down into my throat, squeezing it tight with despair. All those people I loved, dead, and we are discussing the next Hunger Games in an attempt to avoid wasting life. Nothing has changed. Nothing will ever change now.I weigh my options carefully, think everything through. Keeping my eyes on the rose, I say, "I vote yes...for Prim.""Haymitch, it's up to you," says Coin.A furious Peeta hammers Haymitch with the atrocity he could become party to, but I can feel Haymitch watching me. This is the moment, then. When we find out exactly just how alike we are, and how much he truly understands me."I'm with the Mockingjay," he says.
The shrieks were coming from two quite naked girls, who were pursued by a pair of apes snapping at their bottoms. [...] So he now raises his double-barrelled Spanish rifle, fires and kills both apes. 'God be praised, my dear Calambo! I have delivered these two poor creatures from grave peril; if it was a sin to kill an Inquisitor and a Jesuit, I have made ample amends by saving the lives of two girls [...]'He was about to continue, but words failed him when he saw the two girls throw their arms lovingly around the two apes and collapse in tears over their corpses, filling the air with the most pitiful lamentations. 'I was not expecting quite so much tenderness of heart,' he said at last to Cacambo, who replied: 'You've excelled yourself this time, Master; you have just despatched the two lovers of these young ladies.' '-Their lovers! Is it possible? You're making fun of me, Cacambo; how could anyone believe in such a thing?' - 'My dear Master,' retorted Cacambo, 'you are always astounished by everything; why do you find it so strange that in some countries it is apes who enjoy the favours of young ladies? After all, they are one-quarter human, just as I am one-quarter Spanish.
We did not make ourselves, nor did we fashion a world that could not work without pain, and great pain at that, with a little pleasure, very little, to string us along--a world where all organisms are inexorably pushed by pain throughout their lives to do that which will improve their chances to survive and create more of themselves. Left unchecked, this process will last as long as a single cell remains palpitating in this cesspool of the solar system, this toilet of the galaxy. So why not lend a hand in nature's suicide? For want of a deity that could be held to account for a world in which there is terrible pain, let nature take the blame for our troubles. We did not create an environment uncongenial to our species, nature did. One would think that nature was trying to kill us off, or get us to suicide ourselves once the blunder of consciousness came upon us. What was nature thinking? We tried to anthropomorphize it, to romanticize it, to let it into our hearts. But nature kept its distance, leaving us to our own devices. So be it. Survival is a two-way street. Once we settle ourselves off-world, we can blow up this planet from outer space. It's the only way to be sure its stench will not follow us. Let it save itself if it can--the condemned are known for the acrobatics they will execute to wriggle out of their sentences. But if it cannot destroy what it has made, and what could possibly unmake it, then may it perish along with every other living thing it has introduced to pain.
I've been doing magic since I was five years old, and when I was trying to get acting gigs, I found I could make a good living at it. It's great to kind of shake the cobwebs off and get the feeling of a live audience again. I love close-up magic, the card stuff, the coin stuff, the really up-close David Blaine stuff.
When you’re in love with two people, always choose the second. The fact that you are constantly thinking of the second person makes it obvious that the first will never fulfill you, unless the second person did not fulfill you either. At this point, you have to choose the third person because God is getting a little tired of your inattention and indecisiveness, and is planning on sending a fourth person into your life just to slap you around with the bible for not entering the promised land.
Once upon a time there were two countries, at war with each other. In order to make peace after many years of conflict, they decided to build a bridge across the ocean.But because they never learned each other’s language properly, they could never agree on the details, so the two halves of the bridge they started to build never met.To this day the bridge extends far into the ocean from both sides, and simply ends half way, miles in the wrong direction from the meeting point.And the two countries are still at war.