Clearly, some time ago makers and consumers of American junk food passed jointly through some kind of sensibility barrier in the endless quest for new taste sensations. Now they are a little like those desperate junkies who have tried every known drug and are finally reduced to mainlining toilet bowl cleanser in an effort to get still higher.
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.
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.
I don't plan to write another science book, but I don't plan not to. I do enjoy writing histories, and taking subjects that are generally dull and trying to make them interesting.
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.
I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.
To an American the whole purpose of living, the one constant confirmation of continued existence, is to cram as much sensual pleasure as possible into one's mouth more or less continually. Gratification, instant and lavish, is a birthright.
The remarkable position in which we find ourselves is that we don't actually know what we actually know.
. . . I happened upon a path that vanished into a wood on the edge of town.
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.
And I find chopsticks frankly distressing. Am I alone in thinking it odd that a people ingenious enough to invent paper, gunpowder, kites and any number of other useful objects, and who have a noble history extending back 3,000 years haven't yet worked out that a pair of knitting needles is no way to capture food
There are things you just can't do in life. You can't beat the phone company, you can't make a waiter see you until he's ready to see you, and you can't go home again.
Nothing gives the English more pleasure, in a quiet but determined sort of way, than to do things oddly.
More than 300 million people in the world speak English and the rest, it sometimes seems, try to.
A bank robber in Los Angeles told the clerk not to give him cash, but to deposit the money in his checking account.
When you tell an Iowan a joke, you can see a kind of race going on between his brain and his expression.
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.
I like it Australia a lot, I think it's a terrific country they really know how to live. The natural history of the place is endlessly fascinating.
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.
English grammar is so complex and confusing for the one very simple reason that its rules and terminology are based on Latin -- a language with which it has precious little in common. In Latin, to take one example, it is not possible to split an infinitive. So in English, the early authorities decided, it should not be possible to split an infinitive either. But there is no reason why we shouldn't, any more than we should forsake instant coffee and air travel because they weren't available to the Romans. Making English grammar conform to Latin rules is like asking people to play baseball using the rules of football. It is a patent absurdity. But once this insane notion became established, grammarians found themselves having to draw up ever more complicated and circular arguments to accommodate the inconsistencies.
My first rule of travel is never to go to a place that sounds like a medical condition and Critz is clearly an incurable disease involving flaking skin.
There are only three things that can kill a farmer: lightning, rolling over in a tractor, and old age.
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 . . .
The whole of the global economy is based on supplying the cravings of two per cent of the world's population.
I had always thought that once you grew up you could do anything you wanted - stay up all night or eat ice-cream straight out of the container.
Boston's freeway system is insane. It was clearly designed by a person who had spent his childhood crashing toy trains.
My first rule of consumerism is never to buy anything you can't make your children carry.
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.
Pablo Neruda - Napoleon Hill - Dale Carnegie - T. H. White - John Grisham - Henry Drummond - Edward Fairfax - Charles Caleb Colton - Catherine Crowe - Bram Stoker