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Chinahand

Quotations

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When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.

Albert Einstein

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I’m reading “I contain multitudes” by Ed Yong and couldn’t recommend it more as a readable but knowledgeable introduction to the incredible world of microbes. 

He was explaining how a certain type of beetle uses bacteria and fungus it carries within its body to infect the tree it is eating which then break down the wood and make it more digestible and neutralise the plant poisons the trees produce to try to combat the beetle infestation. And so an incredible symbiont combination usher the tree into the “good night”. 

I sort of remembered that final phrase as being an allusion to a poem but couldn’t remember which and so googled it. 

Dylan Thomas certainly knew how to turn a phrase:

1914 - 1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

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Mr Bulstrode was conscious of being in a good spiritual frame and more than usually serene... He was doctrinally convinced that there was a total absence of merit in himself; but that doctrinal conviction may be held without pain when the sense of demerit does not take a distinct shape in memory and revive the tingling of shame or the pang of remorse. Nay, it may be held with intense satisfaction when the depth of our sinning is but a measure for the depth of forgiveness, and clenching proof that we are peculiar  instruments of divine intention. 

George Elliot Middlemarch p521-2

Edited by Chinahand

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On the perils of collectivism, perhaps...

"Following in the footsteps of others seems safe, and requires no thought - but it is useless to follow a well-trodden trail when the terrain itself has changed."

On being true to ourselves and others...

"By pretending things are other than they are, we undermine our own stability, destabilise our future - transforming the past from shelter to prison."

The indefatigable Jordan Peterson.

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