Excerpts from Little Washu's cookie file
Here are some important rules, interesting facts, funny quotes and
completely useless thoughts about the nature of science and life.
Because even Washu couldn't always decide to which of the above
categories an item belongs, you'll have to find out for yourself -
with the good old "trial and error" method.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Every successful person has had failures but repeated failure is no
guarantee of eventual success.
If we do not change our direction we are likely to end up where we are
If you don't care where you are, then you ain't lost.
Inside every big problem is a small problem trying to get out.
It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
Mad: Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence
Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle.
There's always one more bug.
Time is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen at once.
The star that burns twice as bright, burns half as long.
Winning a war is just as possible as winning an earthquake.
Millions long for immortality who do not know what
to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
- Susan Ertz
...weil, so schließt er messerscharf, nicht sein kann was
nicht sein darf.
- Christian Morgenstern
Wenn die Tatsachen nicht mit der Theorie
übereinstimmen - um so schlimmer für die Tatsachen.
Often the prediction is the main cause for the predicted event.
- Thomas Hobbes, Behemoth
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot
easily be duplicated by a normal, kindly family man who just comes in to
work every day and has a job to do.
God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game
of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of
any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex
version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards for infinite
stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles
all the time.
-- Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, "Good Omens"
Plus ça change, c'est la même chose.
If something cannot go wrong at all, it will go wrong in a very
The 90/90 rule of programming:
The first 90% of the project consume 90% of the time.
The remaining 10% consume the other 90% of the time.
90 percent of everything is crud.
Nichts ist umsonst außer dem Tod; und der kostet dich das Leben.
The Universe does revolve around Engineers, since we get
to pick the coordinate system.
He who is victorious over others is strong, but he who is victorious
over himself is all-powerful.
First rule of modern melee fighting: Bring a handgun.
The 4th law of thermodynamics:
Where Mihoshi is, chaos reigns.
All that glitters has a high refractive index.
Any philosophy that can be put in a nutshell belongs there.
He who hesitates is sometimes saved.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success.
If at first you do succeed try to hide your astonishment.
If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.
It is easier to write an incorrect program than to understand a correct one.
Life is a hereditary disease.
Life is like an analogy.
Make it right before you make it faster.
Smile, it makes the world wonder what you are up to.
The future is his who knows how to wait.
The law of the excluded middle either rules or does not rule.
Those of you who think you know everything
are annoying to those of us who do.
We give advice, but we cannot give the wisdom to profit by it.
The Dumb Luck Rule:
You can always hit what you don't aim at.
You can always find what you're not looking for.
All inanimate objects can move just enough to get in your way.
If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.
Ginsberg's Restatement of the Three Laws of Thermodynamics:
- You can't win.
- You can't break even.
- You can't quit.
If nobody uses it, there's a reason.
Build a system that even a fool can use, and only
a fool will want to use it.
Complex problems have simple, easy to understand
and wrong solutions.
Handy Guide to Modern Science:
- If it's green or it wiggles, it's biology.
- If it stinks, it's chemistry.
- If it doesn't work, it's physics.
A bug in the hand is better than one as yet undetected.
The computer is mightier than the pen, the sword,
and, usually, the programmer.
Choose variable names that won't be confused.
Every program is either trivial or it contains at least one bug.
In science, every problem is either trivial or unsolvable. But it can take
quite a long time to decide for a given problem int which category it
Make it right before you make it faster.
Watch out for off-by-one errors.
All probabilities are really 50%. Either a thing will happen or it won't.
Give me a lever long enough, and a place to stand,
and I'll break the lever.
Heisenberg may have been right.
Life is difficult because it is non-linear.
Proximity isn't everything, but it comes close.
If you can distinguish between good and bad advice, you don't need advice.
Life is not a zero-sum game.
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.
Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
One meets her destiny often on the road she takes to avoid it.
Use the simplest solution which suffices.
What a strange game. The only winning move is not to play.
- WOPR, War Games
An experiment may be considered successful if no more
than half the data must be discarded to agree with the theory.
No-one is ever a villain in his own eyes, keep this in mind.
When in doubt, save.
Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Geniuses remove it.
Hellrung's Law: "If you wait, it will go away."
Shavelson's Extension: "...after having done its damage."
Grelb's Addition: "If it was really bad, it will be back."
Objects may be divided up in three categories: malfunctioning objects,
objects getting broken and objects getting lost.
- Russel Baker
Real programmers don't comment their code. If it was hard to write,
it should be hard to understand.
Given a choice between two theories, take the one which is funnier.
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first, and call whatever
you hit the target.
-- Ashleigh Brilliant
Finagle's Second Law:
No matter what the result is, there will always be someone eager to
- misinterpret it
- fake it
- believe it happened according to his own pet theory.
I doubt, therefore I might be.
In the beginning was the word.
But by the time the second word was added to it,
there was trouble.
For with it came syntax ...
-- John Simon
If Murphy's Law can go wrong, it will.
The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.
There are three ways to get something done:
- Do it yourself.
- Hire someone to do it for you.
- Forbid your kids to do it.
Sometimes "mu" is the answer.
Q: What is the meaning of life?
A: Life is a fatal, sexually transmitted disease.
- Theft from a single author is plagiarism.
- Theft from two is comparative study.
- Theft from three or more is research.
In most instances, all an argument proves is that two people are present.
Amazing but true...
If all the salmon caught in Canada in one year were laid end to end
across the Sahara Desert, the smell would be absolutely awful.
Amazing but true...
There is so much sand in Northern Africa that if it were spread out it
would completely cover the Sahara Desert.
Angular momentum makes the world go round.
Endless Loop: n., see Loop, Endless.
Loop, Endless: n., see Endless Loop.
Dimensions will always be expressed in the least usable term.
Velocity, for example, will be expressed in furlongs per fortnight.
Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.
-- Elbert Hubbard
God is real, unless declared integer.
Gravity is a myth, the Earth sucks.
Love is like math: simple at first but it can get complicated.
Organic chemistry is the study of carbon compounds.
Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl.
Q: Do you know what the death rate around here is?
A: One per person.
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
- Philip K. Dick
The grass is always greener on the other side -- but that's
because they use more manure.
Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made
of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts
is not necessarily science.
- Henri Poincaré
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
Velilind's Laws of Experimentation:
- If reproducibility may be a problem, conduct the test only once.
- If a straight line fit is required, obtain only two data points.
Once you accept his assumptions even a madman seems reasonable.
To be, or not to be, those are the parameters.
Brains x Beauty = Constant.
As the limit of (Brains x Beauty) goes to infinity,
availability goes to zero.
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Created By: Brazil