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42 Douglas Adams quotes to live by

“You live and learn. At any rate, you live.”


The author of The Hitch-hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy knew a thing or two about life, the universe and everything.

From potatoes to peer groups, Bach to bullies, here are some of Douglas Adams’s finest words of wisdom…

  1. “A learning experience is one of those things that says, ‘You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.’”
  2. “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
  3. “Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”
  4. “The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead.”
  5. “I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer.”
  6. “It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.”
  7. “All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.”
  8. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
  9. “The idea was fantastically, wildly improbable. But like most fantastically, wildly improbable ideas it was at least as worthy of consideration as a more mundane one to which the facts had been strenuously bent to fit.”
  10. “I’d far rather be happy than right any day.”
  11. “Only a child sees things with perfect clarity, because it hasn’t developed all those filters which prevent us from seeing things that we don’t expect to see.”
  12. “Reality is frequently inaccurate.”
  13. “What I need… is a strong drink and a peer group.”
  14. “It is folly to say you know what is happening to other people. Only they know, if they exist. They have their own Universes of their own eyes and ears.”
  15. “There is no point in using the word ‘impossible’ to describe something that has clearly happened.”
  16. “One is never alone with a rubber duck.”
  17. “Beethoven tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it’s like to be human. Bach tells you what it’s like to be the universe.”
  18. “Anything that thinks logically can be fooled by something else that thinks at least as logically as it does.”
  19. “Let the past hold on to itself and let the present move forward into the future.”
  20. “I don’t accept the currently fashionable assertion that any view is automatically as worthy of respect as any equal and opposite view.”
  21. “Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”
  22. “The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks.”
  23. “Life is wasted on the living.”
  24. “There are some people you like immediately, some whom you think you might learn to like in the fullness of time, and some that you simply want to push away from you with a sharp stick.”
  25. “I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.”
  26. “All you really need to know for the moment is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it’s pretty damn complicated in the first place.”
  27. “Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”
  28. “A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment.”
  29. “If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat.”
  30. “People who need to bully you are the easiest to push around.”
  31. “We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can’t cope with is therefore your own problem.”
  32. “Beauty doesn’t have to be about anything. What’s a vase about? What’s a sunset or a flower about? What, for that matter, is Mozart’s Twenty-third Piano Concerto about?”
  33. “Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
  34. “Even a manically depressed robot is better to talk to than nobody.”
  35. “My universe is my eyes and my ears. Anything else is hearsay.”
  36. “If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.”
  37. “A cup of tea would restore my normality.”
  38. “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”
  39. “It can be very dangerous to see things from somebody else’s point of view without the proper training.”
  40. “You live and learn. At any rate, you live.”
  41. “Don’t believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.”
  42. “Don’t Panic.”

 

Source: BBC Radio 4

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A letter from John Cleese to the United States

john cleese photo
Photo by kingArthur_aus

To the citizens of the United States of America, in light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II resumes monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy.

Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Theresa May, MP for the 97.8% of you who have, until now, been unaware there’s a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America. Congress and the Senate are disbanded. A questionnaire circulated next year will determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid your transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

  1. Look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary. Check “aluminium” in the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you pronounce it. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour’. Likewise you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters. Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up “vocabulary.” Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up “interspersed.” There will be no more ‘bleeps’ in the Jerry Springer show. If you’re not old enough to cope with bad language then you should not have chat shows.

  2. There is no such thing as “US English.” We’ll let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’.

  3. You should learn to distinguish English and Australian accents. It really isn’t that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier). Scottish dramas such as ‘Taggart’ will no longer be broadcast with subtitles.You must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is “Devon.” If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become “shires” e.g. Texasshire Floridashire, Louisianashire.

  4. You should relearn your original national anthem, “God Save The Queen”, but only after fully carrying out task 1.

  5. You should stop playing American “football.” There’s only one kind of football. What you call American “football” is not a very good game. The 2.1% of you aware there is a world outside your borders may have noticed no one else plays “American” football. You should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American “football”, but does not involve stopping for a rest every two seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies) You should stop playing baseball. It’s not reasonable to host event called the ‘World Series’ for a game which is not played outside of America. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls’ game called “rounders,” which is baseball without fancy team stripe, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.

  6. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns, or anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because you are not sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you need a permit to carry a vegetable peeler.

  7. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday. It will be called “Indecisive Day.”

  8. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left. At the same time, you will go metric without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

  9. Learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips. Fries aren’t French, they’re Belgian though 97.8% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Potato chips are properly called “crisps.” Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat.

  10. The cold tasteless stuff you call beer is actually lager. Only proper British Bitter will be referred to as “beer.” Substances once known as “American Beer” will henceforth be referred to as “Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine,” except for the product of the American Budweiser company which will be called “Weak Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine.” This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen, Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

  11. The UK will harmonise petrol prices (or “Gasoline,” as you will be permitted to keep calling it) for those of the former USA, adopting UK petrol prices (roughly $6/US gallon, get used to it).

  12. Learn to resolve personal issues without guns, lawyers or therapists. That you need many lawyers and therapists shows you’re not adult enough to be independent. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.

  13. Please tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us crazy.

  14. Tax collectors from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).

Thank you for your co-operation.

  • John Cleese [Basil Fawlty, Fawlty Towers, Sir Lancelot of Camelot (Monty Python & The Quest for the Holy Grail), Torquay, Devon, England]

This Public Service Announcement Has Been Brought To You By Your Friends At C.O.G. Inc.

Source: A letter from John Cleese to the United States | Joseph Spiteri | Pulse | LinkedIn