I love playing tennis. I am an avid bridge player (a card game if you have not heard of it - it was more popular in the past!). I like to tour interesting things with my kids like power plants, garbage dumps, the Large Hadron Collider, Antarctica, missile Silos (Arizona)....
--Bill Gates on Reddit, answering questions today. Someone asked him what he does for fun.
Considering how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to light…it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love, battle, and jealousy among the prime themes of literature… literature does its best to maintain that its concern is with the mind; that the body is a sheet of plain glass through which the soul looks straight and clear.
[French singer Edith] Piaf came to see me sing every evening. I was flattered and uncomfortable. I didn't talk much while eating my pasta, and people must have thought I was putting up with her compliments. I was sitting next to her, and in the middle of the meal, I felt her hand going up my thigh. I asked Bruno where the bathrooms were. They were near the front door. I hesitated, then I went out and took off running. I fled from Piaf. I was practically a virgin at the time. I couldn't see myself in her bed. For me, she was an old lady.
Piaf était venue me voir chanter tous les soirs. J’étais flatté, mal à l’aise. Je ne parlais pas trop en mangeant mes pâtes et on devait avoir l’impression que je subissais les compliments. Je m’assieds à côté d’elle et, au milieu du repas, je sens sa main qui monte sur ma cuisse. Je demande les toilettes à Bruno. Elles étaient proches de la porte d’entrée. J’ai hésité, puis je suis sorti et je me suis barré en courant. J’ai fui Piaf. J’étais presque puceau, à l’époque. Je ne me voyais pas dans son lit. Pour moi, c’était une vieille dame.
...our chief intellectual exercise was the Letter Game: word-making and word-taking. At this we became practically professional....Any dictionary word was allowed, but no proper names, and a word could be stolen only by adding a letter and changing the meaning... This had been a Down game originally...[Down was Charles Darwin's house].
Then there was the story of my grandfather (C.D.) [Charles Darwin] who, on seeing the word MOTHER on the board, looked at it for a long time, and then said, "Moe-ther; there's no word MOETHER." I feel that the Psychologists might get a great deal of fun out of this anecdote--I beg their pardons, I don't mean fun, but Important Information; clues to the conception of the Origin of Species on the one hand, or to his ill health on the other; both of which developments could doubtless be proved by this story to be the direct consequences of the early death of his own MOETHER.
--Gwendolen Darwin Raverat (1885-1957), Charles Darwin's granddaughter, in her memoir Period Piece: A Cambridge Childhood (1952), chapter XII, Sport. The whole Darwin family sounds wonderful
Alcoa, the biggest aluminum company in the country, encountered two problems peculiar to Iceland when, in 2004, it set about erecting its giant smelting plant. The first was the so-called hidden people-- or, to put it more plainly, elves-- in whom some large number of Icelanders, steeped long and thoroughly in their rich folkloric culture, sincerely believe. Before Alcoa could build its smelter it had to defer to a government expert to scour the enclosed plant site and certify that no elves were on or under it. It was a delicate corporate situation, an Alcoa spokesman told me, because they had to pay hard cash to declare the site elf-free, but, as he put it, "we couldn't as a company be in a position of acknowledging the existence of hidden people." The other, more serious problem was the Icelandic male: he took more safety risks than aluminum workers in other nations did....The Icelandic male had a propensity to try to fix something it wasn't his job to fix.
Within about a twelvemonth [of the Roman legions being called home to defend Rome] the barbarians had swept across France: they were in the vineyards of Bordeaux: they were encamped beneath the Pyrenees. All France, said St. Orientius, "smoked like a funeral pyre." This was in 406: four years later, Alaric was in Rome, and she was taken that had taken all the world.
--Helen Waddell (1889-1965) in "Poetry in the Dark Ages," a lecture she gave on 28th October 1947.
“He’s [Obama] going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N., and what is going to happen when that happens?” Lubbock County [Texas] Judge Tom Head asked a reporter for a local Fox News affiliate during an interview that was supposedly about county business.
“I’m thinking the worst,” he deadpanned [sic]. “Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy. Now what’s going to happen if we do that? If the public decides to do that? He’s going to send in U.N. troops.”
Head concluded: “I don’t want ‘em in Lubbock County, okay? So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say ‘you’re not coming in here.’ And the sheriff, I’ve already asked him. I said, ‘You gonna back me?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’ll back you.’ Well, I don’t want a bunch of rookies back there. I want trained, equipped, seasoned veteran officers to back me.”