"... you later rationalize [a woman's] eccentric behaviour by convincing yourself that it was you who somehow asked for or deserved such treatment. Men are strange. As a very experienced male friend of mine once put it, 'No man is a match for any woman'."
-- Ed McCabe, "Against Gravity"
The biblical version of the tale of Gilgamesh was accepted as sober history
for thousands of years. It wasn't until about 1800 that geologists began to
realize that there had never been a worldwide flood on Earth.
And even today there are many who are certain there was indeed a worldwide flood "because the Bible says so." This includes the "creationists," who are very anxious to teach their version of Babylonian mythology in the schools as "science," by George - so don't tell me that science fiction writers don't have influence.
-- Isaac Asimov, "The Last Man on Earth", Introduction
We trained hard... but every time we formed up teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn that we meet any new situation by reorganizing. And a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization.
-- Petronius Arbiter, 210 B.C.
"Whereas de Dion is not content with keeping the style of carriages to which his rank and fortune might warrant. Whereas he devotes himself to the acquisition of mechanical conveyances for which he evinces a predilection which culd be described as infantile and not to be expected of a normally constituted individual, it is imperative that measures be take to place Albert de Dion under restraint."
-- Legal Judgement, 1885
"In order to hear how the frigate HMS Euryalus, sunk off Portsmouth, had been salvaged, Queen Victoria invited Admiral Foley to dinner. Having exausted this subject, Queen Victoria inquired after her close friend, the Admiral's sister. Hard of hearing, the Admiral replied in his stenorian voice, 'Well, Ma'am, I'm going to have her turned over, take a good look at her bottom, and have it well scraped [for barnacles].' The queen put down her knife and fork, hid her face in her handkerchief, and laughed until the tears ran down her cheeks."
-- Virginia Cowles, "The Kaiser" (quoted in Clifton Fadiman, "The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes")
"Dmitri Mishkin: So, how shall we execute you Mr. Bond?
James Bond: What, no small talk? No chit-chat? You know, that's the problem these days. No one bothers to take the time to give a really sinister interrogation."
-- "GoldenEye", 1995