Among the many thousands of things that I have never been able to understand, one in particular stands out. That is the question of who was the first person who stood by a pile of sand and said, You know, I bet if we took some of this and mixed it with a little potash and heated it, we could make a material that would be solid and yet transparent. We could call it glass. Call me obtuse, but you could stand me on a beach till the end of time and never would it occur to me to try to make it into windows.
More Quotes from Bill Bryson:If you can imagine a man having a vasectomy without anesthetic to the sound of frantic sitar-playing, you will have some idea what popular Turkish music is like.
What an odd thing tourism is. You fly off to a strange land, eagerly abandoning all the comforts of home, and then expend vast quantities of time and money in a largely futile attempt to recapture the comforts that you wouldn't have lost if you hadn't left home in the first place.
I have long known that it is part of God's plan for me to spend a little time with each of the most stupid people on earth.
When I was growing up I used to think that the best thing about coming from Des Moines was that it meant you didn't come from anywhere else in Iowa. By Iowa standards, Des Moines is a mecca of cosmopolitanism, a dynamic hub of wealth and education . . .
You can always tell a Midwestern couple in Europe because they will be standing in the middle of a busy intersection looking at a wind-blown map and arguing over which way is west. European cities, with their wandering streets and undisciplined alleys, drive Midwesterners practically insane.
. . . I happened upon a path that vanished into a wood on the edge of town.
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Based on Keywords: obtuse, potash
The main purpose of science is simplicity and as we understand more things, everything is becoming simpler.
I feel very honored to be playing with Bill Pierce. He's such a great musician.
I'm afraid that the United States is more isolated today than at any other time in my memory.