Taxonomy is described sometimes as a science and sometimes as an art, but really it's a battleground.
("A Short History of Nearly Everything")
More Quotes from Bill Bryson: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?
For a long time it puzzled me how something so expensive, so leading edge, could be so useless, and then it occurred to me that a computer is a stupid machine with the ability to do incredibly smart things, while computer programmers are smart people with the ability to do incredibly stupid things. They are, in short, a perfect match.
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.
In three minutes, 98 percent of all the matter there is or will ever be has been produced. We have a universe. It is a place of the most wondrous and gratifying possibility, and beautiful, too. And it was all done in about the time it takes to make a sandwich.
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 . . .
Nothing gives the English more pleasure, in a quiet but determined sort of way, than to do things oddly.
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I'm not sure Lincoln would fare well if he were a presidential candidate today.
David Herbert Donald
But when I don't smoke I scarcely feel as if I'm living. I don't feel as if I'm living unless I'm killing myself.
NSF is the only federal agency with a proven track record of selecting education projects through a rigorous, careful and competitive process that draws on a wide variety of experts from outside government.