The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

Here are some of my favorite quotes...please share yours

There is little that can withstand a man who can conquer himself. -Louis XIV

If you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything. - Doc Emmett L. Brown

You miss 100% of the shots you never take. - Wayne Gretzky

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"Everything that can be invented has been invented"
---- Charles H. Duell, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."
---- Western Union internal memo, 1876

“The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.”
---- Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878.

"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction"
---- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

“X-rays will prove to be a hoax.”
---- Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883.

“Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.”
---- Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1889

“When the Paris Exhibition [of 1878] closes, electric light will close with it and no more will be heard of it.”
---- Oxford professor Erasmus Wilson

“Dear Mr. President: The canal system of this country is being threatened by a new form of transportation known as ‘railroads’ … As you may well know, Mr. President, ‘railroad’ carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by ‘engines’ which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed.”
---- Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York, 1830(?).

“Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”
---- Dr Dionysys Larder (1793-1859), professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, University College London.

“If Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony is not by some means abridged, it will soon fall into disuse.”
---- Philip Hale, Boston Music Critic, 1837.

“The abolishment of pain in surgery is a chimera. It is absurd to go on seeking it…knife and pain are two words in surgery that must forever be associated in the consciousness of the patient.”
---- Dr. Alfred Velpeau, French surgeon, 1839.

“We are probably nearing the limit of all we can know about astronomy.”
---- Simon Newcomb, Canadian-born American astronomer, 1888.

“I’m sorry, Mr Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.”
---- The San Francisco Examiner, rejecting a submission by Rudyard Kipling in 1889.

“The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote…. Our future discoveries must be looked for in the sixth place of decimals.”
---- Albert. A. Michelson, German-born American physicist, 1894.

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
---- Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society, 1895

“It is apparent to me that the possibilities of the aeroplane, which two or three years ago were thought to hold the solution to the [flying machine] problem, have been exhausted, and that we must turn elsewhere.”
---- Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1895

“It doesn’t matter what he does, he will never amount to anything.”
---- Albert Einstein’s teacher addressing his father about Albert, 1895

“Radio has no future.”
---- Lord Kelvin, Scottish mathematician and physicist, former president of the Royal Society, 1897

“There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now; All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”
---- Lord Kelvin, speaking to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1900.

“They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist-”
---- Last words of Gen. John Sedgwick, spoken as he looked out over the parapet at enemy lines during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in 1864.
These are great! Good reminder of how arrogant humans can be, and yet so creative despite that. Theme of some of some good stories (Avatar).

'' Never say Never ''

Justin Bieber


Lord Kelvin has been proven correct on everything he ever said.

from "American history in jokes,anecdotes and funny facts, Jokes and anecdotes of famous people"
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was often bored by the tedious small talk that was required of him at social functions. He often felt as if those with whom he conversed were seldom paying attention to what was said. To prove his point, sometimes Roosevelt would begin a conversation by saying, "I murdered my grandmother this morning." Often these words were met with polite approval. On one occasion, however, an attentive listener gave the witty reply, "I'm sure she had it coming to her."

and another I love:

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
And rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.”
I simply love the Rumi quote,,, I will be there too.
There is a story that when Winston Churchill was told by his secretary about a member of parliment being caught in the bushes with a Guardsman in St James' Park, Churchill said "Last night? Awefully cold last night!?" for the secretary to say "Yes it has been the coldest night on record in years." Churchill said "It makes you proud to be British."

"I don't pity any man who does hard work worth doing, I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being"

                                                                         -Theodore Roosevelt

I posted this on the "Last Poster Wins" discussion, but believe it bears repeating: 

"Love all, trust a few, do harm to none."  -- William Shakespear

I know the author in question is a shocking nazi, but I rather like this one: 


"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, cooperate, 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." -Heinlein




"[The sentiment of honour] is that enigmatic mixture of conscience and egotism which often survives in the modern man after he has lost, whether by his own fault or not, faith, love, and hope. This sense of honour is compatible with much selfishness and great vices, and may be the victim of astonishing illusions." -Jakob Burckhardt 


"After one comes, through contact with its administrators, no longer to cherish greatly the law as a remedy in abuses, then the bottle becomes a soverign means of direct action. If you cannot throw it at least you can always drink out of it." -Hemmingway


"There is hope, though not for us." -Kafka


"The good old times for cutting throats that cried out in their need,
The good old times for hunting men who held their fathers' creed,
The good old times when William Pitt, as all good men agreed,
Came down direct from Paradise at more than railroad speed. . . .
Oh the fine old English Tory times;
When will they come again!" -Dickens (summing up Tory social policy nicely...) 


"There is nothing political about the truth." -Londo Mollari

I take some mild offense at your characterization of Heinlein as a nazi; indeed, he champions free thinking, women's independence, human sexuality, reading, rational thought, and cautions against government and hucksterism among a vast number of things.

How you possibly see him as a nazi is beyond me.
Perhaps his 'Starship Troopers" you have read, and failed to see it as a cautionary tale?
Have you also read 'Frankenstein' and failed to see that as a cautionary tale?

Inquiring minds want to know....

Yeah, I'd like to know this as well. Heinlein is a personal hero of mine.


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