Happy Father’s Day!

What can we say about dads?

It is hard to sum it all up, so we’ll take the easy way out and let other people try. 

Here are 15 quotes from books and authors about fathers.

“It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.”

—Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

 

“He promised us that everything would be okay. I was a child, but I knew that everything would not be okay. That did not make my father a liar. It made him my father.”

—Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

 

“There’s no shame in fear, my father told me, what matters is how we face it.”

―George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

 

“[…] never could I expect to be so truly beloved and important; so always first and always right in any man’s eyes as I am in my father’s.”

—Jane Austen, Emma

 

“… out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, [he] adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life.”

—Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities

 

Tie“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

—Mark Twain

 

“Perhaps that is what it means to be a father – to teach your child to live without you.”

—Nicole Krauss

 

“He was a father. That’s what a father does. Eases the burdens of those he loves. Saves the ones he loves from painful last images that might endure for a lifetime.”

—George Saunders, Tenth of December

 

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”

—Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum

 

“A father is the one friend upon whom we can always rely. In the hour of need, when all else fails, we remember him upon whose knees we sat when children, and who soothed our sorrows; and even though he may be unable to assist us, his mere presence serves to comfort and strengthen us.”

—Émile Gaboriau, File No. 113

 

Dad Mug“Listen, there is no way any true man is going to let children live around him in his home and not discipline and teach, fight and mold them until they know all he knows. His goal is to make them better than he is.”

― Victor Devlin

 

“Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father.”

― Lydia Maria Francis Child

 

“At sixteen, you still think you can escape from your father. You aren’t listening to his voice speaking through your mouth, you don’t see how your gestures already mirror his; you don’t see him in the way you hold your body, in the way you sign your name. You don’t hear his whisper in your blood.”

― Salman Rushdie, East, West

 

“Being a dad is quite rewarding and even magical at times. It is our greatest chance to do something right in our lives that will keep making the world a brighter place even generations after we are gone.”

― Timothy Pina, Bullying Ben: How Benjamin Franklin Overcame Bullying

 

“[My father] taught me that there is no shame in breaking something, only in not being able to fix it.”

― Hope Jahren, Lab Girl

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The Cosmic Perspective: 10 Stirring Quotes By Carl Sagan

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In trying times, it helps to step several feet back — or several light years — and remember the relative size of this stage our entire lives play out on. Carl Sagan was a huge help in this regard, relating 20th century scientific discoveries in a tone both poetic and humorous, unlocking the public’s understanding of the vastness of our cosmos.

Image result for carl saganThough he departed our world back in ’96, Sagan left behind an impressive canon of works exploring science, spirituality, and the mysteries of human existence. If you’re looking for answers, he may have them, and if you’re looking for even bigger questions… well, you’re about to hit the mother lode. The following quotes represent just a tiny slice of Sagan’s wit and wisdom, but still enough to help turn down the volume on all the lamenting and sabre-rattling from fellow Earthlings that constantly threatens to overwhelm us.

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, 1994

“It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

Cosmos, 1980

“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, 1995

“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.”

Contact, 1985

“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”

Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium, 1997

“I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.”

Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science, 1979

“But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”

Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search For Who We Are, 1992

“Nature is unsentimental. Death is built in.”

The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God, 2006

“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.”

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, 1995

“Books, purchasable at low cost, permit us to interrogate the past with high accuracy; to tap the wisdom of our species; to understand the point of view of others, and not just those in power; to contemplate–with the best teachers–the insights, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, drawn from the entire planet and from all of our history. They allow people long dead to talk inside our heads. Books can accompany us everywhere. Books are patient where we are slow to understand, allow us to go over the hard parts as many times as we wish, and are never critical of our lapses. Books are key to understanding the world and participating in a democratic society.”

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, 1994

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.”

By 

In Honor of the First Day of Winter…

Frozen Silence: 10 Quotes About Extreme Cold

Photo by Dave Lauretti, via Wikimedia Commons

We’ve romanticized the winter freeze in many a Christmas carol, but to those who’ll spend the entire season huddled by the nearest fireplace, space heater, or radiator, the plunge in temperature is no trifling matter — and for those without shelter, the weather could even prove deadly.

 

George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones, 1996
“Nothing burns like the cold. But only for a while. Then it gets inside you and starts to fill you up, and after a while you don’t have the strength to fight it.”

Cormac McCarthy, The Road, 2006
“Where all was burnt to ash before them no fires were to be had and the nights were long and dark and cold beyond anything they’d yet encountered. Cold to crack the stones. To take your life.”

Stephen King, The Dark Tower, 2004
“For over a long period of time there’s little in life so disheartening as constant cold — not deep enough to kill, mayhap, but always there, stealing your energy and your will and your body-fat, an ounce at a time.”

Edith Wharton, The Triumph Of The Night, 1914
“The blast that swept him came off New Hampshire snow-fields and ice-hung forests. It seemed to have traversed interminable leagues of frozen silence, filling them with the same cold roar and sharpening its edge against the same bitter black-and-white landscape.

Guy de Maupassant, Bel-Ami, 1885
“It was one of those bitter mornings when the whole of nature is shiny, brittle, and hard, like crystal. The trees, decked out in frost, seem to have sweated ice; the earth resounds beneath one’s feet; the tiniest sounds carry a long way in the dry air; the blue sky is bright as a mirror, and the sun moves through space in icy brilliance, casting on the frozen world rays which bestow no warmth upon anything.”

Robert A. Heinlein, Have Space Suit — Will Travel, 1958
“What sort of ‘water’ was that? Methane? What was the ‘snow’? Solid ammonia? I didn’t have tables to tell me what was solid, what was liquid, and what was gas at whatever hellish cold Pluto enjoyed in the ‘summer’. All I knew was that it got so cold in its winter that it didn’t have any gas or liquid — just vaccum, like the Moon.”

Donna Tartt, The Secret History, 1992
“It never occurred to me that half of the population of Vermont wasn’t experiencing pretty much what I put myself through every night- bone-crackling cold that made my joints ache, cold so relentless I felt it in my dreams: ice floes, lost expeditions, the lights of search planes swinging over whitecaps as I floundered alone Arctic Seas.”

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969
“On a world where a common table implement is a little device with which you crack the ice that has formed on your drink between drafts, hot beer is a thing you come to appreciate.”

Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, 1908
“No animal, according to the rules of animal-etiquette, is ever expected to do anything strenuous, or heroic, or even moderately active during the off-season of winter.”

Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, 2006
“Ice contains no future, just the past, sealed away. As if they’re alive, everything in the world is sealed up inside, clear and distinct. Ice can preserve all kinds of things that way — cleanly, clearly. That’s the essence of ice, the role it plays.”

e.e. cummings, ViVa, 1931
“The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn Whom it touches.”

Passport to the Future: 11 Education Quotes to Inspire Endless Learning

Education

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Who doesn’t love a good quote? For more like this, check out our quotations archive.

You think you’re having a rough time processing this year’s events? Think about all the teachers out there who’ve been called back into duty this fall, tasked with keeping our nation’s youth on track amid all this craziness.

How does one even begin to broach subjects like history or social studies in a world that’s currently at war over which version of history will prevail? Now’s the time to reach out to the educators you know — including the ones who taught you, once upon a time — and find out what kind of support they might need in the months to come. (If nothing else, send wine!)

In the meantime, here are a few education quotes to remind us what constitutes proper learning, in hopes that even those civilians among us will recognize opportunities to keep growing and evolving, and help others do the same.

Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, 1961
“The word “education” comes from the root e from ex, out, and duco, I lead. It means a leading out. To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil’s soul.”

Audre Lorde, “An Interview: Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich,” 1981
“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.”

C.S. Lewis, “Men Without Chests,” 1943
“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”

Virginia Woolf, Monday or Tuesday, 1921
“Once she knows how to read there’s only one thing you can teach her to believe in and that is herself.”

Jim Henson, It’s Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider, 2005
“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”

Malcolm X, speaking to Organization of Afro-American Unity, 1964
“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook, 1962
“Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: ‘You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson, 2010 interview
“We spend the first year of a child’s life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit down. There’s something wrong there.”

James Baldwin, “A Talk to Teachers,” 1963
“One of the paradoxes of education was that precisely at the point when you begin to develop a conscience, you must find yourself at war with your society. It is your responsibility to change society if you think of yourself as an educated person.”

Agatha Christie, An Autobiography, 1977
“I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays and have things arranged for them that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas.”

Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, 1862
“Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.”