"I don't recall installing this "General Protection Fault" Screen Saver?!?"
Steven T. Charlton (w) or Steven T. Charlton (h)
"If a mime screams in the woods and someone is there to hear it, does he really make a sound?"
"You couldn't get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full of horny clues if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the clue mating dance..."
- Edward Flaherty
"The battery is kinda' low on that, so it's pretty dim."
"That's OK. So am I."
- Overheard at a recent gunshow, in reference to a laser sight
Mark F. Cook
"Finally, let's lay one common myth to a long-overdue rest. After three hundred thousand years of evolution Vargr no longer stick their heads out of the window when they're driving."
"Suicide is the most sincere form of self criticism."
"If you're not part of the solution, you haven't dissolved yet..."
"British by birth,
European by parliamentary decree,
Scottish by the grace of God."
"What is good in life?"
"To crush the grains of your enemies, and hear the fermentations of their barley."
- Conan the Zymurgist
"Who is General Failure and why is he reading my drive?"
"The flatnoses [Humans] have a strange saying: "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach". This is clearly nonsense - the way to a man's heart is through his back!"
- Unknown Vargr Drill Instructor
"I asked you to bring me secret agent 007. You brought me a Scottish actor called Sean Connery, who proceeded to beat seven shades of brickdust out of me before escaping with my best bird in a helicopter marked "A present from Dr. No"!"
"Through sheer random chance, my employer may someday agree with something I say."
"It's O.K., we're staff...."
"Calling J-Man Kink. Calling J-Man Kink. Hash missile sighted, target Los Angeles. Disregard personal feelings about city and intercept."
"Curiousity killed the cat.
The Hiver took notes."
"The British Government have been pressing the IRA to decommission arms and explosives. Well, on Friday we decommissioned half a ton of explosives."
- Comment attributed to Gerry Adams
Retired Engineer: "Look, you furry cretin. I'm retired."
Vargr Mercenary: "Why do you not still work? You can still walk. You still stand. You are not dead."
Retired Engineer: "Have you TRIED fitting a 255 ton jump drive into a bungalow?"
- from A Recent Game [I'll write it up Andy, I promise...]
"There are two major products to come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence".
-------- | | | (o) (o) C --- ) | | ,__ | | \____/ / \ / \"I am Homer of Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. Preparation is irrelev...Mmmmmmm...Doughnut!"
"You are in a maze of twisty subroutines, all alike".
"Taz sez, 'Ack! Icky plptht TAZ grunga yeek... PLPTHT!!!'"
James W. Lindsay
"Conquering Russia is a steppe by steppe process."
"Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"
"Cats: proof that not everything in nature has a function."
"Entropy applies to more than just the universe, you know."
- from library cataloguer Janet Chapple, before she got her brain into gear
Timothy Collinson[pictured], with thanks to Janet for being a good sport!
"One who, on being told that this is a game about politics and intrigue in 17th century Italy, asks to play a ninja."
- Andrew Rilstone's definition of "munchkin"
Douglas E. Berry
"What good is opening your mind, if in doing so, you close your heart to your greatest ally in the universe? Is it worth so much to you to realize that you are naked?"
"It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion,
By the beans of Java, my thoughts acquire speed,
The hands acquire the shakes, the shakes become a warning,
It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion."
Robert Rumpf, Ohio Marcon organiser
"For old fans: <-*-o-*-o-*-o-*-o-*--- Tribble and onion kebab."
"HEAVEN is where all the police are English, the mechanics German, the lovers Greek, and the cooks French, and it's all run by the Swiss.
HELL is where all the police are German, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss, and the cooks English, and it's all run by the Greeks."
- (from a t-shirt James Gilly bought in Greece)
James Gilly "There are two things that are indefinite: The Universe and the stupidity of human beings. But I´m not quite sure if the universe is."
- Albert Einstein
"Well, you know, some people, if zey are of a peaceable nature, when they use marijuana they go and lie down in the flowerbed and smell with the bees. Other people, if they are not of a peaceable nature, they get stoned and they think of better ways to kill Jews."
- Albert Speer, commenting on "the rich menu of dope the Führer was shoving into himself by the end of the war"
[As related by Robert Hughes (PACKER, Robert Clyde, No Return Ticket, Angus & Robertson, Nth Ryde, Australia, 1984).]
"The purpose of a referee is to present obstacles for players to overcome as they go about seeking their goals, not to constantly make trouble for them. This is a very subtle distinction ..."
- from The Traveller Book, p. 12
Unknown commentator: "I believe that "decimation" originated with the Roman legions."
Loren K. Wiseman: "Of course it originated with the Romans! Who else would need a word that means "kill every tenth person"?"
Mark F. Cook, Mark Cook Consulting OR Mark F. Cook, Shoestring Graphics & Printing
"I got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory."
Leszek "Mike" Karlik
"To fulfil all of your daily nutritional requirements you would need to drink a glass of orange juice, two glasses of milk, and 47 pints of Guinness."
"What many people thought of the others on the list, in the main, they kept to themselves, and treated the others with respect, even though deep down they were certain the other person was the twisted bonehead spawn of a hamster and a particularly foul refrigerator mold with the IQ of the average chunk of sandstone, and completely wrong to boot."
From a newspaper: "Can't read? Write today for free help!"
In response to a choice of Trillion Credit Squadron planets:
Alan Bradley: "Anyone object if I grab this one?"
Steven Hudson: "If people didn't object when you seized systems we could hardly have a proper war, could we? ...oh, I see what you meant..."
CT Mailing List
"Trust the computer industry to shorten 'Year 2000' to 'Y2K'. It was this sort of thinking that caused the problem in the first place."
"Heroes have morals, but villians have work ethic."
- One of Dave Nelson's players, commenting on how villians do things, but players only tend to react!
"E=MC2: Enthusiasm = Management x Cash x Congratulations."
As quoted to me by Owen Jones (original source unknown)
Glenn Grant reports on this query sent to himself and Roderick Darroch Elliot:
Ross Coburn: "Either of you have my Referee's Companion? It's the same size/shape as the three MT core books, similar bad cover art, shows a guy on a scout in the water about to get et. I've been tearing up the apartment looking for it. . . ."
Darroch: "Sorry. I had to borrow it to use as an exhibit. I'm trying to use it to prove the existence of psionics so I can get my client off on a defense of pre-emptive self-defense."
Glenn's eye-rolling comment on this exchange: "Lord help us all."
Glenn M. Grant
"Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings, they did it by killing all those who opposed them."
David J. Golden
"Like a lot of provincial naval commanders, I often get annoyed when I'm fighting a nice quiet homespun war over local issues when the Imperial Navy decide to get involved, arrive in Battle Riders and shoot all the opposition before I can get a missile off. That's why I hang out in the Deep! Reavers Deep - where the fun (and firefight) never ends! Call 1-800-SHOOTME for your ticket now!"
- Commander Greyson Hawkes, Caledonian Confederation Star Navy
"MiB - Marines in Battledress - Protecting the Imperium from the Scum of the Galaxy."
S. Dom Mooney
In response to this typo: "Or how about GURPS Traveller: Ground Ponders?"
"Sarge, is it man's nature to be evil, or are we essentially good, and corrupted by desire?"
"Good Question, Smitty. PLA-TOON, TEN-HUT! On command, you will consider this question! PLA-TOON! PON- (wait for it!) DER!"
- The men of the 3257th Philosophy Battalion (the Descartes Demons)
Douglas E. Berry
"But what a 'good file format' is, is a can of worms I'd rather sidestep in favor of a brief discussion about near-C asteroid pirate ships 'manned' by Aslan females wearing comfy shoes and armed with TL-15 RoM relics who prey on free traders making a tidy profit carrying simple cargo to Virus-infested feudal technocracies..."
David J. Golden
"Hey, Worf! I hooked Data up to a Modem... wanna see?"
James W. Lindsay
"Bad ideas are like buses. If one misses you, another will be along in a minute."
- from an ABC News story on 30 June 1993, about changing the colour of London's classic red buses
As seen by me, while watching too much TV.
"First one to the asteroid belt wins a coyn!"
Colin "Sword Worlder" Michael
"Smith & Wesson -- The Ultimate "Point & Click" User interface."
"How many Marines does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
"Marines don't deal with that %!@#!!, Whadaya think the Navy does? We secure the area so the vaccheads can work in peace and quiet, wouldn't want the little dears to get upset, would we?"
- Command Master Fleet Sergeant Eneri Taalentin, Deneb Fleet HQ
Douglas E. Berry
"Air goes in and out, blood goes round and round. What more could one
ask from this life?"
- one of the more interesting consultants with whom I have worked
Robert O'Connor (Medico, Gamer)
"Re. gun control: does a "Grandfather clause" mean I can keep my Droyne disintegrator?"
David L. Pulver
"The biggest differences between an American and an Englishman:
an American thinks a hundred years is a long time, an Englishman
thinks a hundred miles is a long way."
Walter "Walt" Smith
In regard to "military insurance":
"Destroyed in 30 minutes, or your next one is free."
- U.S. Marines
"When it absolutely, positively, has to be destroyed overnight."
- U.S. Air Force
"Cease-and-desist letters are a lawyer's way of saying hello."
- unknown (it may have been one of the Glenn's)
On high-tech medicine:
Ethan Henry: "I feel fairly confident that even by TL 15 there won't be a pill to prevent you from having to deficate and such. Anally-inserted fusion incinerators, maybe, but you can't do everything with a pill."
Loren K. Wiseman: "There are certain words that should never appear in the same sentence. "Anally-inserted" and "fusion incinerators" are one set. "Sexually transmitted" and "flesh-eating bacteria" are another.
Loren K. Wiseman
"Yoda DOS: (A)bort or (F)ail, there is no (R)etry...."
Comments on possible uses for Aslan pseudo-personality (AI) software:
Matt Bond: "Probably uses the male personality for the anti-virus software..."
Dean Jones: "I'd say a combo of both...the female finds the virus, the male beats it up."
"No Billy, the Aslan would not like a ball of string."
"The box said "Requires Windows 95 or better".
So I installed Linux..."
David J. Golden
On Baldrick: "Ah, yes. An old AD&D character of mine, Oort McLeod, who, explaining his unusual name, once said, "I'm from a punning clan."
"Honk if you've slept with Riker."
- typical Starfleet shuttlecraft bumpersticker
James W. Lindsay
"Any sufficiently adverse technology is indistinguishable from Microsoft."
Mark A Nordstrand
"If you drop a cartridge on your foot and it doesn't hurt, your gun ain't big enough."
"Paper, ants, petroleum, people, it all burns eventually."
Dean Jones, commenting on his use of a magnifying glass as a child.
"When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend."
Tod L Glenn
Unknown commentator: "First Survey, like too many of the Imperium Games products, was what I like to call "fractally broken" - not merely bad, but bad on every scale, with pockets of small badness concealed within larger badnesses, bad from any analytical viewpoint, self-similarly bad."
Loren K. Wiseman: </humility>"And all because they didn't hire me."<humility>
Loren K. Wiseman
"Of course, if you're writing the code to control a cruise missile, you may not actually need an explicit loop exit. The loop will be terminated automatically at the appropriate moment."
- Programming Perl, 3rd Ed.
"Did you ever wonder if Lassie had Munchausen by Proxy?
Timmy sure seemed to fall down a lot of wells."
"Death is an experience best avoided, as it makes reliable Internet access difficult to obtain."
- Xaonon, in alt.atheism
Douglas E. Berry
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
- Galileo Galilei
"What would you do if you won $1,000,000?"
"Well, I guess I'd spend the first $900,000 on women and beer, then just waste the rest."
From a discussion on radiation:
Tod Glenn: "How many rems to kill a man? 20,000?"
Dan Roseberry [plop101]: "I took 5000 rads once... Once.
(I suppose that was the blast effect!)"
"I am Dyslexic of Borg, Your Ass will be Laminated."
From a discussion on the d20 Traveller site:
"Don't forget, Traveller Gelatinous Cubes are 1.5 m on a side."
(Personally, I think it's more like 3 m on a side! - DJ-W)
"Shock pierced through my heart. We come from Hiroshima..."
- Unsigned entry, U.S.S. Arizona guest book
(Quoted by Priit J. Vesilind, "Oil and Honor at Pearl Harbor", National Geographic Magazine, June 2001, Washington D.C., USA, p 99.)
"The wonderful thing about treecats
Is treecats are wonderful things;
Their heads are all feline and furry
Their tails have got grey and cream rings.
They're bouncy, pouncy, bouncy, pouncy
Fun fun fun fun fun!
And the most wonderful thing about treecats is....
I've been adopted by one!"
- from Nik, the current carer of a treecat NPC
Dr. Nik Whitehead.
From some emails concerning d20 Traveller:
Hyphen: "Looks like Elron's dreams have finally come true! (D&D really is taking over the world!)"
Michael Traun: "And Call of Cthulhu is due for release under the d20 system early next year."
Ian "Elron" Brien: "And elron looked at all he had conquered and wept, for there were no more game systems to convert" (from the 1st book of elron)
From emails to Hyphen.
"Living your life is a task so difficult, it has never been attempted before."
- Origin unknown
"The Travellers' Aid Society: Sort of a cross between the early Royal Geographic Society of England and a frequent flier program."
"Cooking is great - it's a socially acceptable excuse to play with knives and fire."
"This is why they complain - they don't want to have brains. Those lead to thoughts, and thoughts cause only suffering. Thus, by asking them to think, you are inflicting the torments of the damned on the previously blissfully ignorant."
- John Rowat, in alt.tech-support.recovery
"The closest I can figure is that George W is the first president to min-max the election system. He is, in fact, a political munchkin."
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, co-operate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
- Robert Heinlein
"The only acceptable racial enemies are things like orcs, kobolds, and gnolls. And maybe the occasional elf."
- from a post-Sept 11 2001 Invisible City discussion on the treatment of Arabs in America
Sharon J. Cichelli
"A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what's left of your unit."
- In the August 1993 issue of PS Magazine, the US Army's magazine of preventative maintenance, page 9
From the World Builders mailing list (WBDMailingList):
Stuart Ferris, H&E author: "On the personal front, I've passed my professional exams and am now a fully qualified Chartered Surveyor. Improved career prospects and more money."
"Starwaster": "My initial reaction (as I just crawled.... no, stumbled out of bed) was 'OK..... so what scout rank does that make him? And is he going to be shipping out on a Donosev?'"
"Windows is not a virus. A virus actually does something, and generally gets better technical support."
- Terry Austin, Companion of the Loyal Order of Chivalry & Sorcery
Hyperbooks Online Bookstore
"If Captain Picard had just replicated some damn gauss rifles, none of this would have happened!"
- Ensign Lynch, just before assimilation by the Borg Collective in Star Trek: First Contact
"Happy Fun Ball is a trademark of Blammo Corp. Do not stare at Happy Fun Ball. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball. If Happy Fun Ball begins to emit smoke back away. Happy Fun Ball contains a bit of strange glowing matter that fell to earth in a meteorite."
- from a discussion on the Tigress dreadnought
"Face it - Bill Gates is a white Persian cat and a monocle away from being a Bond villain."
"Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"
"It's just not Traveller to me without the throwing penguin. ACR, check. Shoot-through grenades, check. IR goggles, check. Commdots, check. Throwing penguin, check."
Glenn M. Goffin
"Werner von Braun's autobiography was titled 'I Aim for the Stars.'
It should've been subtitled, 'But Sometimes I Hit London.'"
- from Mort Sahl (NOTE: I've especially included this for my mate Ian, aka "Uncle Elron", who fondly remembers Tom Lehrer's song re same...)
"Our best trophies sink."
- Walt Smith's US Navy brother, whilst being shown around West Point's display of captured Mexican War cannon
Walt "Firelock" Smith
"Military Intelligence is a highly refined organisation of overwhelming generalities based on vague assumptions and debatable figures drawn from undisclosed activities pursued by persons of diverse motivation and questionable mentality in the midst of unimaginable confusion."
"You hit the Free Trader Beowulf. It is a Good Hit!(x2) The Free Trader Beowulf hits you. You hit the Free Trader Beowulf. You feel something roll under your feet. You have killed the Free Trader Beowulf. Welcome to Level 32. You can learn a new spell."
Nana Yaw Ofori
"You have just finished serving 15 years in the Other service. No, I have no idea what you did. All I know is that you have one hell of a strange set of starting skills."
Kenneth David Ladage
Source Unknown: "Or Ha-Un batteries (Batteries made from a mixture of Handwavium and Unobtainium)..."
James Ramsey, "I believe the equation is Ha+Un = TU ;)"
"Never judge a man by his taglines."
Jeff Zeitlin, Trav Digest #645, 3 Nov 1996 (sorry for the delay! ;-).
"Where principle is involved, be deaf to expediency."
- James Webb, former US Navy Secretary (Reagan administration), who resigned over the issue of fleet reductions; this quote is from his April 25 1996 speech to the US Naval Institute's 122nd Annual Meeting, which received a standing ovation
"God is like a shamrock - small, green, and split three ways."
- Eric Idle, from Nuns on the Run
"Kill the prisoners--"
"--we must not."
- Randy Taylor's friend, pointing out that Yoda as a military leader is a bad idea
Randy Taylor, brother of Howard Taylor of Schlock Mercenary fame.
"This is the Universe... Big, isn't it?"
"Players are good at shooting themselves in the foot.
You just have to get creative when helping them to aim."
"The English love making fun of foreigners, whose mere existence they regard as an enormous jest."
- Iain Pears
Robert A. Uhl
"If a sufficient number of management layers are superimposed on top of each other, it can be assured that disaster is not left to chance."
- Norman Augustine (1935-), US author, business executive
From a discussion on the Sword Worlders:
Unknown commentator: "The Powers That Be have gone out of their way to make the Sword Worlders childish, petty and boorish. They are chauvinistic to the extreme, are highly militaristic, quick to fight and slow to talk. Plus, they have never developed their technology above a basic level, even after 1400 years. And they can't even keep a stable government up without secret Zhodani help. And this is from their GOOD press. :-)"
Response 1, from one of the Glenn's: "So what's not to like?"
Response 2, from Erich Brackmann: "Sounds like a population of game players..."
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
- Albert Einstein
"When I think of all the people I respect the most, you're right there, serving them drinks."
- Scott Adams, of "Dilbert" fame
"I will never get over the embarrassment of belonging to the same species as you."
- Guy Macon, from The Flame to End All Flames
"Try to edit your responses of unnecessary material before attempting to impress us with your insight. The evidence that you are a nincompoop will still be available to readers, but they will be able to access it more rapidly."
- Guy Macon, from The Flame to End All Flames
When asked if he thought there was room for forgiveness toward the sponsors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks:
"I believe that forgiving them is God's function. Our job is simply to arrange the meeting."
- General "Stormin' Norman" Schwartzkof
"Never interrupt the enemy when they are in the middle of making a mistake."
- Napoleon Bonaparte
"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wagn'nagl dominos."
(Translation: "In his house in R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits for the pizza guy.")
Kelly St. Clair
"That's how you know you're hooked on something; when it makes you forget to drink beer."
- Paul Mather, commenting on The Sims
"HEAVEN is where all the police are Vilani, the mechanics Solomani, the lovers Zhodani, and the cooks Vargr, and it's all run by the Bwaps.
HELL is where all the police are Sollies, the mechanics Dogs, the lovers Newts, and the cooks Shugilii, and it's all run by the Zhos."
bastardisedTravellerised version of James Gilly's Greek t-shirt)
"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed."
- G. K. Chesterton
"Other robots say, 'The whole purpose of my existence is to pick heavy things up, move them, and put them down again.' However, the whole purpose of MY existence to pick heavy weapons up, shoot them at moving targets, and make sure the targets definitely come down again. In multiple pieces.'"
- E.R.I.C., Ervmisbe's Intelligent Combat Armour
"E.R.I.C. is in need of some serious reprogramming - his whole purpose is to keep ME safe while not restricting my ... ummm ... "creativity". I'm the one supposed to be having fun ... not him! ;-)
- Sir Ervmisbe (OEG) of Auitawry, E.R.I.C.'s owner
"What did you do to the cat? It looks half-dead."
- Schrödinger's wife
"I've heard this 'government which governs least governs best' argument before, and while it has a certain quirky logic to it, the part of me that abhors waste wonders why we can't just have a government that does what it's supposed to, rather than one which attains inoffensiveness through inefficiency."
- Kelly St.Clair, of the Traveller Mailing List
Kelly St. Clair
"Never send a monster to do the work of an evil genius."
"Here in Australia the Psychic Hotline ads are always saying they are waiting for my call. I figure that if it's something important they'll call me."
Paul "Scout" Harris
"This list is still a source of amazement and enlightenment to me; after all, it's rare to go into a gaming mailing list, ask a questions about rockets and get an honest-to-god rocket scientist to answer."
- Bruce Johnson, commenting about the frightening amount of expertise found on the Traveller Mailing List
"The very firefighters that are being implicitly criticised in relation to [this major disaster], the very emergency services personnel who are being asked to accept responsibility, are today - after minimal sleep and 10 days on the go - once again standing between the fires and the people of Canberra."
- Chief Minister John Stanhope, disgusted at the press-led speculation over who was to blame for the January 18 firestorm that swept over Canberra (from The Canberra Times, 22 January 2003, p 1)
C Code Run.
Run, Code, Run.
RUN, Damn You, Run!"
"They didn't call him Erik Bloodaxe because he was good with children."
- National Geographic, May 2000
"The speed limit hasn't changed, only his brain has."
- My wife Leanne, regarding a slow driver in front of us who suddenly took off
"In the Far Future, adolescents will insist that their life sucks like hardvacc because they can't go flying with their friends, or get a comm-implant or a new smartjacket like all the other sophs at school have. And if they get kicked out of their polygon or break up with their virtualover, the star might as well be going nova."
- Kelly St.Clair
"Enterprise Metadata is the structured, semi-structured, and unstructured information that describes the characteristics of a resource or asset. Metadata is about knowledge, which is the ability to turn information and data into effective action."
- R. Todd Stephens, Director of the Metadata Services Group, BellSouth Corporation, from "A Passion for Metadata", Data Discussions, Wilshire Conferences, © 1993
"Never give a penguin with access to the sports pages an opening line."
Douglas E. "Penguin Boy" Berry
"I live in my own little world, but it's OK. They know me here."
"if (true == iTookACupOfCoffee)
if (true == lessThan1CupLeft && timeOfDay < "6:00pm")
- Spotted on a coffee-maker at David J Smart's workplace.
David J Smart
Using his 21st birthday party to pledge himself to his future role:
"All these questions about do you want to be king? It's not a question of wanting to be, it's something I was born into, and it's my duty."
- Prince William, as reported by the Press Association, Britain's main news agency
"Yeah, Afterliaowhyhoo is a great pal. His only quirk is that he tends to buy an apartment or a small house on every planet we visit."
Glenn M. Goffin
"Aside from the fact that I disagree with pretty much every one of your interpretations, yes we are in complete agreement."
"I'm older than many of you, and actually lived in a commune during the hippie era. There is nothing like living in a commune to give you an industrial-strength understanding of the limits of 'From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.' Not all leeches are invertebrates."
- from a post to the venusenvycomic Yahoo Group, 2 February 2003
"IMPORTANT: This e-mail is intended for the use of the individual addressee's named above and may contain information that is confidential privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail is not
authorised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word absquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this e-mail, although the kelpie next door is living on borrowed time, let me tell you. Those of you with an overwhelming fear of
the unknown will be gratified to learn that there is no hidden message revealed by reading this warning backwards, so just ignore that Alert Notice from Microsoft. However, by pouring a complete circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets. If you have received this e-mail in error, please add some nutmeg and egg whites, whisk and place in a warm oven for 40 minutes."
- from someone who worked in a large Ausgov department (c.2003), for those of us who were annoyed by the long compulsory tagline added to all our work emails
Crichton: "The last time I saw Scorpius, he was handcuffed to a pirahna monster, and his head was covered with man-eating fire ants! There's no WAY he survived that!"
Scorpius: [arriving by parachute] "But I did! Tah-DAH!"
- Danny Horn, www.toughpigs.com
"The Theorem Theorem: If If, Then Then."
"I once described trying to analyze Traveller economics from the rules as 'Trying to explain the economics of transoceanic container trade by looking at cross-Indian Ocean dhow traffic.'"
"We are GURPS. You will be assimilated. We will add your distinctive setting and background to our own. Resistance is futile."
- Christopher B. Thrash
"One must be careful what one writes, and to whom one gives it."
- Eneri Estagaribbia hault-Richelieu
Loren K. Wiseman
"US preorders have now all been shipped.
Overseas orders go out Monday.
Hunter is cranky from all that admin and order-fulfilling stuff.
Everything is as normal."
- BITS announcement, Friday 14 May 2004
Martin J. Dougherty
"A rose by any other name would likely be 'deadly thorn-bearing assault vegetation'."
"The Imperial system will give you good and bad, democracy just gives you
endless variations on the mediocre."
Joke overheard at the Dead Spacer bar:
"Ask two Droyne a question, and you get four different answers. Ask two Droyne lawyers a question, and you get six.
With the Droyne, you always eventually get six."
Glenn M. Goffin
"Canadians, once upon a time, had the opportunity to have the best in the world: American Technology, British Culture and French cooking. Instead, they opted for American Culture, British cooking and French Technology."
"I've gone to find myself. If I get back before I return, please keep me here."
"To lead a telescopic life is also to be close to others without feeling their warmth.
To have proximity without community.
Telepresence without presence of mind.
To drown in a dark sea of numbers,
Under a bottomless bright night sky."
- South to the Future
[quote taken from Space, Time, Place, South to the Future, San Francisco, CA, USA, 1999, p 177 (e-book version).]
"The Federation Heavy Cruiser is a chick magnet, just ask any captain."
Henry J. Cobb
"Never believe a magic-user is dead until you have seen them die at least three times."
- lesson learned by my gaming group
Seen on the net: "Teach a man to play Settlers of Catan and he'll complain for an hour. Teach him to play Traveller and he'll complain for the rest of his life."
- as quoted by Steve Jackson in the Daily Illuminator, 3 November 2004
"The point of the [X-Men 2] movie is that they're all humans -- and really, the people that pay the price are the people that are inflexible; that say, "No, only I'm a human -- and you're not!".
And that's really the core of racism. That's what makes it abhorrent -- and ultimately, evil.
You can't judge people on the basis of their skin, their mental abilities -- or their claws! You just can't. We're all human."
- David Hayter, screenwriter, X-Men 2
"Imperial Hi-Pop world?
Imperial World with low average age: Hip-Hop world.
Imperial World with high average age: Hip-Op world."
"Part of the joy of writing [for Traveller] is going through the piles of data and figuring what needs to be used, discarded, or changed."
- Douglas "Penguin Boy" Berry, author of GURPS Traveller: Ground Forces
Crichton: "Hey, D'Argo, how come I'm not afraid?"
D'Argo: "Fear accompanies the possibility of death. Calm shepherds its certainty."
Crichton: "I love hangin' with you, man."
- Farscape, last episode of Season 2
Mike of FarscapePeacekeepers
"My Latin teacher in High School had the phrase: "Semper Ubi Sub Ubi" over her door.
Translation: "Always wear underwear!"
Thus proving: "Whatever is said correctly in Latin sounds profound."
Spotted on the on the CotI boards:
Trav Referee: "The jump field has gone unstable, and is gradually progressing into the Jump-Drive chamber. You can now see it in spots, along the bulk-head."
Player: "I put my sachel over my head so I can't see the jumpspace, and fix the drive blind."
- Archhealer from MA, USA, developer of Solitude Cluster
Seen by me at CotI.
Spotted on the on the CotI boards, 7 December 2005:
"I find that by placing my looseleaf pages on the floor and then running a laser pointer over them allows my three cats to not only get exercise, but to also organize my notes in a suitable fashion for me."
- Jeff M. Hopper
Seen by me at CotI.
From an overly serious discussion about democracies, old and modern:
"Well, as long as government equals 2D-7+Pop, you're not going to get very many hi-pop democracies. Obviously, the first step is for revolutionaries to agitate for changes to the formulas used in random world generation. ;)"
"Lensmen eat Jedi for breakfast."
From a discussion on gravity waves:
"I'm not a theoretical physicist either, but a combination of watching Carl Sagan as a child and unfettered access to Wikipedia as an adult lead me to make plausible-sounding utterances that are more often than not dismissed quickly by actual theoretical physicists. ;)"
From a discussion on the DDO boards about a Hardcore (ie no respawn after character death) server option:
"I've had enough of namby-pamby carebear MMOs. I say in DDO when your character dies, it should reformat your hard drive, demagnetize all your credit cards, and send a couple high-voltage shocks through the line directly into your eyes. Now that's hard core."
On random system generation in Traveller:
"We aren't God, but we can play dice with the universe."
"Theory of Conservation of Ninjitsu: the more ninjas there are in a group, the less skilled the individual ninja is. If one ninja attacks you, you're probably screwed, but if a hundred ninjas attack you, you'll be fine."
"Q. How do you know you've become a rules hacker?
A. When you add a rules update phase to your combat round."
Heard and observed by Dare Obasanjo (aka Carnage4Life):
Visitor: Where is Bill Gates's office?
Receptionist: I'm not at liberty to divulge that information.
Visitor: I need to see him, I just downloaded Windows Vista and I have a number of complaints.
"It's amazing how much preparation is required to provide flexibility in execution."
- "Operation VERBAL IMAGE", Marine Corps Doctrine Publication 6 (MCDP 6), U.S. Marine Corps, 4 October 1996
Seen by me via an actKM mailing list posting.
"Deep in your heart, you know you want enough ships to play Fifth Frontier War as a minis game."
- Charles Oines, modeller for Ad Astra Games and Power Projection Traveller starships.
Seen by me on the Star Ranger forums.
Tagline from a Trav web forum:
GM: "Ok, you're firing the tank's pulse laser at the door you want to open?"
Player: "Oh god no, that's insane, you're right. I'll pile those propane tanks against the door and shoot them with my RAM grenade launcher."
"This is a lot like critiquing traffic control devices when you're color-blind. Briefly funny, but dangerous in the long run."
Mark F. Cook
On the difference between players and their characters:
"I would return a wallet full of cash if I found it on the sidewalk; my characters wouldn't notice the wallet because they would be too busy stealing a starship."
On less-than-legal early Traveller scenarios:
Hyphen: "In their defence, it was either Marc or Loren who said that they were simply following on from the D&D-style scenarios of the day, which (when you think about it) were usually smash-and-grabs of one sort or another. It's just that the "bad guys" in D&D are orcs (et al), so the violence, theft, and mayhem is considered justifiable." ;-) ;-)
Glenn: "Oh, yeah, the racism in D&D was pervasive, and made perfect sense in a medieval milieu. My friends and I talked about it in college, and someone analogized it to: 'suppose we five young, educated, upper-middle-class men bought a bunch of guns and some flak vests and a couple of jeeps and drove into South Philly, broke into somebody's tenement, stole their stuff, killed some of the residents, then came back here to sell the loot, visit the infirmary, and buy more ammo.'"
Glenn M. Goffin
On the Internet:
Jonathon Barton: "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog^H^H^H Vargr^H^H^H^H^H Jgd-Il-Jagd."
Bruce Johnson: "I must correct this notion. On the Internet it's extremely easy to tell if someone is a large bloated gasbag....the so-called 'blogosphere' is rampant with 'em." :-P
"In reality, I did one year at San Jose City College where I majored in Dropping Acid, with minors in Annoying Jocks By Pretending To Be A Communist, and Kissing Up To The Communist History Instructor To Get An Easy A."
- Douglas E. "Penguin Boy" Berry
"Alignment is a pair of words, such as "lawful good" or "chaotic evil" or "neutral hungry".
Paladins must be lawful good, but everybody else can pretty much pick whichever two words they like. If your "alignment" is different than that of people you meet, it means you will hate each other - unless these other people are player characters, in which case you'll pretty much ignore alignment and form together into a party for the purpose of slaughtering kobolds and stealing the money from their freshly-killed corpses.
The only true alignment in D&D is "murdering pickpocket."
Seen by me at a D&D Internet site.
The consequences of salvaging a starship owned by an Ursa (sentient bear):
"This reconstituted protein meal is too hot!"
"This reconstituted protein meal is too cold!"
"This reconstituted protein meal is j-u-u-ust right."
- Goldilocks, the Starship Salvager
Michael Jenkins, after a Bill Cameron suggestion...
"The three best things in life are a good landing, a good orgasm, and a good bowel movement. The night carrier landing is one of the few opportunities to experience all three at the same time."
- Andrew Boulton.
Seen by me on the CotI boards.
After a discussion on battledress mobility, and how these skates could help:
Leon Wu: "Somehow I just can't see Imperial Marines in rollerblades doing jumps whilst pursuing the Ine Givar..."
Christopher Schroeder: "You've obviously never been to a Zhodani opera."
"In other news, I lost the next phase of development of the starport (dang) in a kitten induced computer shutdown.
No animals were hurt in the making of this starport (but only because she runs faster than I do)."
Seen by me on the CotI boards.
Reporter: "Does playing Dungeons & Dragons lead you to believe in the Devil?"
Mexal: "Madam, reading the Bible leads me to believe in the existence of the Devil..."
Megan "Mexal" Robertson
The Republican Governor of California, telling politicians who oppose acting to curb greenhouse gas emissions that they will endanger themselves:
Arnie: "Your political base will melt away as surely as the polar ice caps. You will become a political penguin on a smaller and smaller ice floe that is drifting out to sea. Goodbye, my little friend. That's what's going to happen."
- ABC News report found here, after Arnie argued that greenies needed to "get sexy".
Physicist: "In fission weapons, a mass of fissile material (enriched uranium or plutonium) is assembled into a supercritical mass the amount of material needed to start an exponentially growing nuclear chain reaction either by shooting one piece of subcritical material into another, or by compressing a subcritical mass with chemical explosives, at which point neutrons are injected and the reaction begins."
Wizard: "At which point do we throw the bat poo?"
Seen by Michael Skudar on the Wizards of the Coast forums.
"It is always interesting to discuss the actual capabilities and limitations of realistic physics... However, if they put limitations on my game that I don't like, realistic physics go flying out the window. ;-)"
Jens 'Spacejens' Rydholm
"There used to be a old Cyberpunk GM ethos, something along the lines of: 'Go ahead, give them what they want. Then, when they get all of that fancy pricy stuff, choke them with it.' "
"What the hell do I know? I buy Games Workshop products. I have probably become used to being brutalized in compliance with corporate policy."
"In my opinion, munchkinism begins when you insist on being the star of every adventure, don't care whether anyone else has anything to do or not, don't give a $#*+ about the worldbuilding and are just out to become more powerful, break stuff and amass bling."
Kiri Aradia "~malfoy" Morgan
Spotted at DM of the Rings:
"Give a player a fish, and he'll probably try to sell it to an NPC fisherman.
Teach a player to fish, and next week he'll show up with the book, “The Complete Adventuring Fisherman”. He'll start hunting for some monstrous leviathan to catch and enslave, and he'll be dual-wielding two fishing poles."
"The Aslan Hierate is a 4000 man Diplomacy game."
Hans Henrik Rancke-Madsen
"Three Systems for Steve Jackson under the sky,
Seven for White Wolf in their halls of stone,
Nine for the alternative publishers doomed to die,
One for TSR on his dark throne
In the Land of WotC where the moneys lie.
One System to rule them all, One System to find them,
One System to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of WotC where the moneys lie."
- found at various places on the 'net
On 18 March 2008:
"Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke - now who will explain the universe?"
Spotted on the Black Gate's Gary Gygax tribute page:
""If geeks had a nation," I said, groping for a way to explain, "he would have been our king."
"[The idea started with Gary] that those who struggle to fit in at work or social circles can often find unconditional acceptance at the gaming table... and learn a little about accepting others in the process."
- John O'Neill, editor/publisher of Black Gate
Spotted in the RTT (i.e. Mongoose Traveller) preview documents:
"The PGMP and FGMP are weapons of such unbelievable destructive potential that they are never deployed without due care and forethought - except by player characters."
The oath for all those contributing to "The Night is Darkest Just Before the Dawn", aka Douglas "Penguin Boy" Berry's latest madcap outing:
"Raise your right hand and place your left hand on the penguin and repeat after me:
"I, lacking the common sense the gods gave roadkill, have foolishly volunteered to help Penguin Boy on one of his mad schemes. I accept that by the end of this project, I will want to kill him, but acknowledge that he's better at killing than I am, so I'll just leave snarky comments on his LiveJournal. So help me Halford.""
Douglas E. Berry
"Some players have put more effort into statistical analysis of [dice] rolls than they put into their doctoral dissertation."
"My Great Grandpa helped build the railroads in the Pacific Northwest before the turn of the century, and passed in the early 70's. He said "born in a prairie wagon, flew in a 747 - what a life!"
(I'd like to see what he'd make of my iPhone ;-)"
Regarding a 2007 chemistry paper submitted by Prof. Klapötke's group at Munich:
Derek Lowe, US synthetic chemist (see his blog): "The experimental section of the paper enjoins the reader to wear a face shield, leather suit, and ear plugs, to work behind all sorts of blast shields, and to use Teflon and stainless steel apparatus so as to minimize shrapnel. Hmm. Ranking my equipment in terms of its shrapneliferousness is not something that's ever occurred to me, I have to say. It's safe to assume that any procedure which involves considering which parts of the apparatus I'd prefer to have flying past me will not get much business in my lab, no matter how dashing I might look in a leather suit."
John, a commenter: "I wonder how [Klapötke] recruits graduate students ?"
CMC Guy, a commenter: "I maintain that majority of chemists have pyromaniac tendencies so recruitment of grad students probably not difficult."
- Derek Lowe, US synthetic chemist
"ICT is the first to impose changes on the business and the last to accept changes imposed on itself. It is rare, for example, for ICT to use its own tools (e.g. a data warehouse)."
"If the world was fair then every bad thing that has ever happened to you would have been deserved."
From an article about Steve Jobs and Apple:
"Innovation means eliminating the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak."
"I come from a time called the 1970s, when computers were used for two things: going to the Moon, and playing Pong. And they did'em both with 16 kilobytes of RAM!"
"Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance."
- Kurt Vonnegut, (1922 - 2007)
"Creativity and solitude are inextricably linked."
- Robert Hughes, Enough Rope, November 2006
On the meaning of "ObTrav":
David Shaw: "I see the term used and have even used it myself, but I have no idea what 'ObTrav' actually means. Would some kind soul explain?"
Bruce Johnson: "OBligatory TRAVeller content. A bit put on in the end to try to make it on topic..."
Ndege Diamond: "It's kind of like putting on your hazard lights when you double park."
- Spotted on the TML
"Someone asked me the other day what my emotional draw to Traveller was. After a lot of thought, I realized that it was a dead even heat between wanting so very much to be the guy landing a Type-S someplace new, and the deep inner hunger to, just once in my life, live under a government that I actually believed in. The idea of a reasonably sane and stable Emperor who does his damn job and not more than that is a very attractive one."
From a TML discussion on space "lanes":
"Space is big,
Space is dark.
You'll always find
a place to park."
Spotted by me in a Traveller discussion on Google+:
Brad Murray: "I was just thinking about what Traveller did that was novel back in the day and realized there is a general thing it did that I haven't heard discussed before.
It simulated everything.
It's the first time (I think) we see a concerted effort to bring the wargaming simulation down into prep as well as gaming at the table, and this is how we get the rich lonely fun from it that so few other games deliver explicitly."
From the same discussion:
Jim Kundert: "In a classic skill-based task system you have four factors leading to success: fixed modifiers (stats), improvable modifiers (skills), conditional modifiers (speed, environment, being shot at, good tools, etc), and the random love/hatred of the universe (the die roll)."
"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."
- Pablo Picasso
"As a general rule of thumb, those who understand SAP don't implement it; those who implement SAP don't understand it."
- Spotted by a colleague
On rad shielding in spacecraft:
"An interstellar society is simply NOT going to license a vessel that would allow its crew and passengers to be turned into KFC because the local sun had an off day."
"I am a member of the public and I guess I am a moron, although I try very hard not to be."
- tonyw, Business Australia forums, July 2010
"Did you notice how Mr Rudd spoke to the kids like adults and spoke to the media like children?"
- "John", email responder to "Silent Kevin gets publicity to Di for", ABC website, 22 July 2010
"The reason people become economists is that they lack the charisma to become accountants."
- "Sync", email responder to "One world-within-a-world: Inside State Circle", ABC website, 22 July 2010
"In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your Count that votes."
- Eneri Leno, comedian-in-residence at the Hotel-at-the-Edge-of-the-World, The Plateau, Björnöya Island, Tavonni
"I have this idea which I call the 'sandwich rule' - that before anyone expresses a strong opinion on an issue they should spend at least as much time researching and thinking about an issue as they do in choosing their lunchtime sandwich filling."
- "Leigh", in a reply to "Intellectual honesty and an open mind", The Drum - Opinion, ABC website. 6 Jan 2012
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."
- from R. P. Feynman's special appendix to the NASA report on the Challenger disaster
"The Third Imperium is as strong as it has to be, as weak as it can risk to be, as good as it can, as evil as it must, and as blind as it chooses."
- quoted by Bill "Larsen E. Whipsnade" Cameron, Citizens of the Imperium website, 10 Jan 2012
"The change in fame over the last few hundred years has been from meritocracy to visibility."
"Corporate memory is the collective personal recollections and experiences of staff members, concerning historical information and events, that currently remain undocumented in the organisation's normal paper trail."
During a language discussion on the influence of the USA:
"The bigger the culture, the less they know how other people speak."
- ABC Local Radio, 19 September 2013
"Community is the province of the poor. The rich live in solitude."
- F. A. Minter or Kelvin Shadnarcki
From the TML:
Andrew Long: "That just has to be a typo, surely... There's a copy of 1,001 characters for sale on eBay, with a starting bid of $6.99 and a BIN price of $1,199! And it looks a bit ratty..."
Jeffrey Schwartz: "For $1199, the NPC better show up at my house and sit in on the game."
"Dear Creator of the Big Bang,
Whose name is beyond our limited understanding,
Our scientific knowledge of the Universe is still limited,
As we haven't even learned to understand our own planet,
Let alone the heavens above,
Allow us to find things to eat,
And excuse us for stealing someone else's leftovers when we're starving,
If we can forgive hungry people from stealing ours when they're desperate,
And let us focus on more important things than our own bodily desires,
For the Universe is much bigger,
More powerful, and glorious than our little tummies,
And may the next Big Bang be a long time away,
- from the ABC's news website, comments section for "Letting go of the Lord's Prayer in Parliament", 17 January 2014
"Backups are for recovery. Archives are for discovery. Harder than I thought for some people to understand the difference."
- Nigel Wadsworth from iTNewswire
"It's SF, if you're not confounding someone's pre-suppositions somewhere, you might as well stick with crossword puzzles."
- Dave Nilsen, Traveller_TNE Yahoo group, Digest #2075, 8 March 2014
"From the user's perspective, asking permission [to access their phone's G-sensors] becomes a binary question: allow this app to violate your privacy and you get to play with the dancing pigs, or don't allow it and you can't. People will choose dancing pigs every time."
- Paco Hope, principal consultant with software security consulting firm Cigital
"Ultimately what I really believe is the most enduring and consequential revelation is that the goal of the NSA and its four English-speaking partners, which includes Australia, the UK, New Zealand and Canada, is captured by this phrase that appears over and over in the documents, which is 'Collect it all'."
- Glenn Greenwald, US journalist to whom whistleblower Edward Snowden gave a huge trove of secret intelligence documents, 15 May 2014
"I really didn't foresee the Internet. But then, neither did the computer industry. Not that that tells us very
much of course - the computer industry didn't even foresee that the century was going to end."
- Douglas Adams
"Hollywood was built with a bit of mob money, a bit of idle millionaire money, the tears of many, many thousands of dreamers, a generous portion of crushed souls, and at its core the unions make the Teamsters look like pussies."
"Any job where a group of PCs is a good solution is probably illegal."
I'm an American studying in Australia and I was deeply honored to have Mr. Fraser participate in my research. He shared his views on US-Australian strategic relations and what he believed were the key Australian priorities in the region. Little did I know that his final book "Dangerous Allies" would be published soon after our conversation.
It was clear Mr. Fraser's outrage at the refugee policies of the Rudd, Gillard and Abbott governments fueled his initial interest in speaking with me. But when our discussion turned to the trendy notion that we live in a post-ideological world his voice rose and thundered across Skype:
"The US has never been more ideological than it is today and Tony Abbott and his lot are no better."I learned much during my conversation with Mr. Fraser and remain grateful for his frank assessments, generosity of spirit and time. But more than that, on this day in particular, I value his challenge to me and my generation:
"Live life fully first, gaining experience and expertise along the way. Then, if one feels passionate about politics, dive in and contribute. But only when you have something powerful and useful to offer - not just political slogans."RIP Malcolm Fraser."
"Imagine, for a moment, what you could accomplish if you had the persistence and drive of the Adobe Acrobat Reader updater."
- Tobin Titus, Facebook post
"When high national purpose gives way to cynical political opportunism; when ethical ways of behaving are diminished by expedient or corrupt party practices; when the major parties become out-dated, behave undemocratically and serve the vested interests of the few rather than the broad national interests of the many; and when decency and compassion are subordinated to the base calculations of party machine-men, the trust of the people is lost and those of conscience and good will must assert a new way of governing the country."
- Renew Australia Party manifesto
Vaccination skeptic "Ima Skeptic" (not their real name): "95% of polio cases in the past had no symptoms and only one person out of 500 even went to the hospital. Why would polio be a major concern to anyone?"
(I'd point them to "I Can Jump Puddles", but here's another approach:)
Christen Chaconas, molecular biologist (her real name): "I cant entertain your insanity anymore. Unfortunately you were probably vaccinated by your mother and will continue to live a long healthy life plaguing the masses with misinformation via your wealth of knowledge from Google and probably any associates in art degree from your local technical institute. Enjoy your ignorance but please stop trying to spread it like truth."
- Spotted by me on a medical blog
From a response to their friend who was concerned about roleplaying games:
"In fact, the vast majority of games that I have played in have taught me Godly things: you must not give way to evil, you must speak truth to power, you must let your faith guide you but not blind you, you must stand up for the weak, you must have compassion, you must challenge your allies when they do things that are wrong, and small groups of committed people can change the world."
- Paul Schneider
"Playing #Poland in @CivGame this morning. I'm a shameless Hussar."
On a convoluted database design:
"Esoteric, like a Salvador Dali painting."
- Bruce Hiddle, a colleague of mine
"The populist view is not necessarily rigorous."
"American values are the envy of the world. America as a place no longer reflects these."
- Stuart Butler, Quora post
"The glory of rules is they allow the players to know their options, predict outcomes, make plans - and show surprise when the universe fails to comply."
- Ian Wood, Facebook post
"Universities are safe spaces for thought, not safe spaces from thought."
- Salmon Rushdie on the ABC's 7:30 Report, 11 Oct 2017
On identity politics:
"The human identity is actually very multiple and complicated and even contradictory and that is what makes us rich characters and that's what makes us interesting as human beings, that we are many things, not one."
- Salmon Rushdie on the ABC's 7:30 Report, 11 Oct 2017
"Patriotism and nationalism are what people use when they don’t actually have good answers to problems."
- Doug Robertson, Quora post
"Picard gets philosophical, Data gets technical, Riker gets passionate, Guinan gets moral."
- Dave Consiglio, Quora post