For the entire world is the tomb of illustrious men, and it is not only the inscriptions on monuments at home that attest to this. Even in foreign lands there dwells an unprinted memory, carved not in stone but in people’s hearts.

Pericles’s funeral oration

The Moon is essentially grey.

Jim Lovell, Apollo 8.

Mathematics is the language of clear thinking.

Richard Hamming, The Art of Doing Science and Engineering

Teaching to solve problems is an education of the will.

The open secret of real success is to throw your whole personality into your problem.

George Polya, How to Solve it

Certainly it is valuable to a trained writer to crash in an aircraft that burns. He learns several important things very quickly.

Ernest Hemingway, Paris Review interview

Five years is a lot.

Churchill, A History of the English Speaking Peoples Vol. 1

But now I pity undergraduates, when I see what frivolous lives many of them lead in the midst of precious fleeting opportunity. After all, a man’s Life must be nailed to a cross either of Thought or Action.

Churchill, My Early Life

But though I am an old man, I am but a young gardener.

Thomas Jefferson

Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.


They were the first comers in the fields of thought and literature. When they arrived at fairly obvious reflections upon life and love, upon war, fate or manners, they coined them in slogans or epigrams for which their language was so well adapted, and thus preserved the patent rights for all time.

Churchill, My Early Years, on the Romans

Publish and be damned.


There will be sunshine there even in the winter-time, and cool shade, and the play of shadow on the pathway in the shining days of June.

Churchill, Painting as a Pastime

If I were to persuade a ploughman of the truth of any form of church government, it should not be attempted by the use of Greek and Latin fathers, but from the word of God, the light of nature, and the common reason of things.

Isaac Watts, Improvement of the Mind

The End of our Foundation is the knowledge of Causes and secret motions of things, and the enlarging of the bounds of Human Empire, to the effecting of all things possible.

Francis Bacon, New Atlantis