1. It is an admirable feature of herpetologists that they are able to cross the boundaries between different aspects of their subject, which remains, perhaps more than other branches of zoology, a single coherent discipline.

    A. d’A. Bellairs and C. B. Cox, 1976.

    Laurie J. Vitt and Janalee P. Caldwell, Herpetology : An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles, 3rd ed., Academic Press, 2009.

  2. … as for this little lady, the best thing I can wish her is a little misfortune.

    — William Makepeace Thackeray

    John Irving, A Widow for One Year, 1998

  3. What we, or at any rate what I, refer to confidently as memory — meaning a moment, a scene, a fact that has been subjected to a fixative and thereby rescued from oblivion — is really a form of storytelling that goes on continually in the mind and often changes with the telling. Too many conflicting emotional interests are involved for life ever to be wholly acceptable, and possibly it is the work of the storyteller to rearrange things so that they conform to this end. In any case, in talking about the past we lie with every breath we draw.

    — William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow

    John Irving, Until I Find You, 2005

  4. Show me how to do like you
    Show me how to do it.

    — Stevie Wonder

    Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982

  5. Irrational streams of blood are staining earth …

    — Yeats

    O yonge Hugh of Lyncoln, slayn also
    With cursed Jewes, as it is notable,
    For it is but a litel while ago,
    Preye eek for us, we synful folk unstable,

    — Chaucer

    Bernard Malamud, The Fixer, 1966

  6. Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.

    — Charles Lamb

    Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960

  7. For we constantly deal with practical problems, with moulders, contractors, derricks, stonemen, trucks, rubbish, plasterers, and what-not-else, all the while trying to soar into the blue.

    — Augustus Saint-Gaudens

    David McCullough, The greater journey : Americans in Paris, Simon & Schuster, 2011

  8. Time will bring to light whatever is hidden; it will cover up and conceal what is now shining in

    — Horace

    Annie Jacobsen, Area 51 : An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base, 2011

  9. It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas. If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. You never learn anything new. You become a crotchety old person convinced that nonsense is ruling the world. (There is, of course, much data to support you.)

    On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of sceptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish useful ideas from the worthless ones. If all ideas have equal validity then you are lost, because then, it seems to me, no ideas have any validity at all.

    — Carl Sagan, “The Burden of Skepticism,” Pasadena lecture, 1987

    Michael Shermer, Why People Believe Weird Things : Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time, 1997


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