Because we humans are big and clever enough to produce and utilize antibiotics and disinfectants, it is easy to convince ourselves that we have banished bacteria to the fringes of existence. Don't you believe it. Bacteria may not build cities or have interesting social lives, but they will be here when the Sun explodes. This is their planet, and we are on it only because they allow us to be.
("A Short History of Nearly Everything")
More Quotes from Bill Bryson:Incidentally, disturbance from cosmic background radiation is something we have all experienced. Tune your television to any channel it doesn't receive, and about 1 percent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by this ancient remnant of the Big Bang. The next time you complain that there is nothing on, remember that you can always watch the birth of the universe.
It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you.
It is a curious feature of our existance that we come from a planet that is very good at promoting life but even better at extinguishing it.
Our instinct may be to see the impossibility of tracking everything down as frustrating, dispiriting, perhaps even appalling, but it can just as well be viewed as almost unbearably exciting. We live on a planet that has a more or less infinite capacity to surprise. What reasoning person could possibly want it any other way?
The biggest attraction in Britain is Britain - the whole package. Our heritage is not just a collection of ornaments scattered across the country, it is Britain itself and makes us gloriously distinguishable from any other country.
The average Southerner has the speech patterns of someone slipping in and out of consciousness. I can change my shoes and socks faster than most people in Mississippi can speak a sentence.
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The task of the solitary man is to be even more solitary.
Emile M. Cioran
The earth is a great big orphanage for most animals.
Creativity is the greatest expression of liberty.
Bryant H. McGill