Thursday 28 July 2016

Inspirational Quotes 85

Be yourself, appearance doesn't matter blah blah

People who put you down are kindly trying to motivate you – for your own good. Not.

You want people who will support your dreams and goals, not squash them. Remove your toxic relationships! ‏‏(@HeatherSanto)

Wondering what PhD viva examinations are like and what to expect? Good advice here... (Dr Ayla Lepine ‏@heartchitecture)

Antisemites seem to spend a lot of time antisemitically explaining why it isn’t antisemitic to be antisemitic. (@hugorifkind)

The film of the Stones’ concert at Altamont is “an unforgettable depiction of the death of the 1960s countercultural dream. (Big Issue)

My favourite nonsensical phrase these days is ‘didn’t win but already changed the conversation’. What an utterly vacuous platitude. (Karl Sharro ‏@KarlreMarks)

Where people ended up in mid-life also depended to some extent on the kind of person they were in their youth... Who we are is based partly on who we mix with and the part we play in our social relationships. People who lack this connection (and those with an initial anxious and introvert personality are more vulnerable...) are likely to miss out on these experiences, further shaping their personality in directions that lead to more isolation. (BPS Digest Those who are lonely when young take longer to become the typical agreeable, conscientious middle-aged person, says the article.)

I don’t think of narcissism as vanity: it is a survival mode, more about keeping a place in the social world. (Dr Richard Graham, psychiatrist)

The curled lip of contempt, and the eye, measuring as he spoke, from top to toe, his companions, with the cool elegant sang froid and self-possession displayed in his own person and manner. (Real Life in London by Pierce Egan, 1820s)

A hanger on is a sort of sycophant, or toad-eater, and, in the coffee-houses and hotels of London, many such are to be found—men who can spin out a long yarn, tell a tough story, and tip you a rum chant—who invite themselves by a freedom of address bordering on impudence to the tables and the parties of persons they know, by pretending to call in by mere accident, just at the appointed time: by assuming great confidence, great haste, little appetite, and much business; but, at the same time, requiring but little pressure to forego them all for the pleasure of the company present... he is an insinuating and an intriguing sort of fellow, whom I by no means like, so I cut him.” (Real Life in London by Pierce Egan, 1820s)

[Some dudes] have the impudence of bowing to ladies whom they do not know, merely to give them an air. A well-bred person must learn to smile when he is angry, and to laugh even when he is vexed to the very soul. To study the expression of the countenance of others, in order to govern your own, is indispensably necessary. (Real Life in London, Pierce Egan 1820s)

Melanie Reid meets an old friend who was always self-conscious about his crooked teeth – he’s had veneers. “...the difference in his face, his smile, even his mannerisms, was the biggest change of all.”

His chubby, smooth, innocent appearance was a reason for his being always treated with condescension when he was not put down. (Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend)

What wasn’t mentioned anywhere was one simple truth. Leah was technically pretty. Jess was technically ginger. Looks, and their lotteried knock-on effects not on later life but most assuredly on teen life, surely deserve a 52-week series of their very own... Both the girls now thrive and stutter visibly towards that serene age (23, if you must ask) where looks don’t, for which read in sane worlds shouldn’t, matter. (Euan Ferguson on Educating Cardiff, Obs Aug 2015)

Beautiful and highly educated women are more likely to be rigidly heterosexual than those with less social clout... Elizabeth McClintock found that “women who were better educated and rated as more attractive were more likely to call themselves ‘100 per cent heterosexual’. She wrote “Highly educated, physically attractive, childless women have greater access to desirable male partners...” (Highly educated? Really?)

Life was much easier as George. (Wikipedia on George Osborne)

He went on, obviously drawing on another man’s patter. (Graham Greene's Ministry of Fear)
Like anything else, it’s a skill you have to learn. (Sword swallower on BBC Breakfast)

More here, and links to the rest.

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Outrageous Excuses 2016

Typical psychological defenses exhibited by stalkers and guilty criminal suspects include denial, rationalization, minimization and projection of blame onto the victim. (Wikipedia)

@Nero (Milo Yiannopoulos) is not a racist; Gays cannot be racist because racism = power + prejudice and gays do not have power to oppress. #FreeMilo (Matthew Anscher ‏@bumsense)

MP Naz Shah said anti-Semitic social media posts were down to "'ignorance". "I didn't get anti-Semitism as racism. I had never come across it. I think what I had was an ignorance." (


1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race. (Free Dictionary)

Today's Sunday Times. Jeremy Hunt tried to get NHS segment taken out of Olympic opening ceremony as "worried people wouldnt get home on time". (david oliver ‏@mancunianmedic)

We were shopping around for a cheap mortgage and they happened to book it in the Channel Islands. (Andrea Leadsom on her tax affairs)

Boris Telegraph y'day column was "written too quickly" and he's tired. (June 2016-06-28)

His ‘apology’ simply claimed we’d misunderstood him by reading his Actual Words. (Jonathan Healey on the Uni head who said the world didn’t need 21-year-old 6th century historians)

Due to Ghosts haunting our store we cannot use our computers or ovens. Please be patient as we wait.
"I once dug a little tunnel out into the road for the cameras. But that's it. Tunnelling is something that should be talked about without panicking." The metre-wide openings seen by the few people who have descended down the shaft in his back garden, he said, were shadows. (William Lyttle, the Hackney Mole Man)

The Croydon Mosque and Islamic Centre published on its website an article containing statements like “A woman should seek her husband’s permission when leaving the house.” Acting and modelling were described as “immoral”. The remarks have been removed after exposure by the Times, and a spokesman says: “The translations and interpretations provided may be too ‘literal’.”

It’s too late to stop the process of introducing the new contract for junior doctors, say those responsible a week before the deadline. Stop press: Jeremy Hunt has said there will be a five-day pause. May 7, 2016 (Doctors rejected it, Hunt imposed it anyway.)

Saudia Arabia “not ready” for women drivers, says deputy crown prince.

Man snapped wearing a red wig, red nose and blackface said it was a face mask to treat his acne. (UKIP activist who “blacked up” was just using an acne treatment, UKIP says.)

A Paris tribunal has ruled that calling a male hairdresser a "faggot" is not homophobic - "because hair salons regularly employ gay people".

We can’t impose [insert reform here] because people aren’t ready for it yet. (In the 70s, equal pay was phased in to avoid hurting peoples’ feelings – or something.)

You don’t understand French humour. (On what looks very like racism in Charlie Hebdo etc.)

When one Madrid politician was asked who put €1m cash in his loft, he suggested "plumbers or men from Ikea". (Feargus O'Sullivan ‏@FeargusOSull)

I wrote down these figures that look like hours worked and money paid in my diary because I have OCD and an obsession with numbers. (Nothing to Declare She kept sinking her head in her hands and sighing “How can I explain?” Her first explanation was: “I’m trying to give up smoking and this is the number of cigarettes I smoked in a day and what they cost.”)

It reminds me of the notorious excuse offered in the 1980s by my Cambridge college for not admitting female students: that the cost of installing full-length mirrors was prohibitive. (Richard Morrison, Times March 2016 on choirgirls in the CoE)

There’s a mosque in Soho that won’t admit women because it doesn’t have a ladies toilet.

My canary planted the cannabis, officer.

Just got the best excuse for an unpaid invoice ever: floods in India have interrupted outsourced accounts dept. (For 9 months). (@RowanMoore)

Man who bludgeoned his wife to death says she came at him with a knife and then hit herself on the head with a mallet. (2016-01-14)

My past racist remarks were “badly worded”,
says Oliver Letwin.

A former banking lawyer who entered a woman’s bedroom wearing fishnet stockings and a purple G-string told a court he thought she was a giant panda. (Dec 2015)

I fell on her by mistake, says rape suspect.

More here, and links to the rest.

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Inspirational Quotes 84

Violence never solved anything. Don't fit in – stand out! It's fine to be single. Just believe in yourself. Live the dream. Yeah.

Where I came from, violence was the norm. People respected the gang leaders and those who could fight. (Footballer interviewed in Times, 2015-08-01)

It’s uncomfortable to be the odd man out or the odd woman out. So if everybody else has an iPhone, then it’s sort of uncomfortable for you not to have an iPhone as well. You may feel like a social outcast. (

So many animals choose to pair up. (Animal Super Parents)

Old theories don’t die, just those that cling to them. (Max Planck)

Many entrants are glorified and egged on by their parents and friends, and think very highly of themselves and become so big headed they believe they can do anything. (MJ)

All cities contain their own eventual ruins. So too do lives. (Darran Anderson, Imaginary Cities)

Things get worse before they get even more worse. (‏@leftoutside)

I heart ethnography because it shows us what people are actually doing not what we think they should be doing. (Andy Priestner ‏@andytraining)

Having a full social life at university can benefit your wellbeing for decades, a 30-year study by American researchers has concluded. People who were very socially active at the age of 20 were likely to have better emotional health in their 50s... Considering everything else that goes on in life over those 30 years – marriage, raising a family and building a career – it was extraordinary that there appeared to be a relationship between the kinds of interactions students and young adults have, and their emotional health later in life [said the author of the study].

A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true. (Greg S. Reid)

When I was younger I really did think we were on our way to a better world and when I look at it now, it is in a worse state than I have known it, particularly for women and I find that very disturbing and sad. (Emma Thompson)

If someone hit you last time, be prepared to duck next time. (Matthew Parris on forgiveness)

99% of racism is everyday microaggressions; the paper cuts that remind people of their different, and lower, value in society. (@MariaWNorris)

Charm. The most insidious weapon in all the human armoury. (Josephine Tey, A Shilling for Candles)

There are the charmers that relay misheard info to wow friends and potential partners, retelling a story they once heard and passing it off as their own or exaggerating the details of a dull anecdote. These are in pursuit of admiration and popularity, both of which can be achieved if the fibs are delivered with confidence. In general we don’t mind these bullshitters so much, they’re common and we’ve probably all been guilty of similar white-lying at some point. (huffpost tells us how to make friends and influence people)

In his recent book Give and Take, the psychologist Adam Grant notes that being a “giver” rather than a “taker” can be surprisingly effective. Seeking advice from the person you are dealing with, using tentative rather than assertive ways of speaking, seeing things from the other person’s point of view, all work to secure better sales, bigger promotions and higher salaries. (Daniel Finkelstein Times July 15 2015)

More here, and links to the rest.
Unhelpful Platitudes here.