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An eclectic collection that made us pause for thought.

Showing records 1 - 100 of 418.

8 April 2017"Safety under any circumstances is an illusion."

Leonora Carrington (from her biography by Joanna Moorhead)
12 March 2017"Memory is a great maker of fictions."

Anthony Quinn (article in the Guardian).
19 February 2017"One of the dark lessons of (political) leadership is that in their beginnings lie the seeds of their end."

Steve Richards, The Guardian
13 February 2017"She was famous for being the first person to be famous for being famous."

Wendy Holden on Tara Palmer-Tomkinson who died aged 45 in February 2017
17 January 2017"From shopping in a store to running a corporation, contracts and agreements matter everywhere."

Oliver Hart, 2016 Nobel Prize winner
for Economics
2 January 2017Overheard:

"Did you sleep with him?"

"Not a wink."

Thanks to Philip Browning, letter in The Guardian
17 December 2016"A sane man doesn't give his money to the poor - a sane man takes money from the poor."

W. Somerset Maugham , from his play, Sheppey
30 July 2016Definition of Venture Capital:
"The final redoubt of individuals with discipline and ambition but no actual talent."

Antonio Garcia Martinez in his book 'Chaos Monkeys: Inside the Silicon Valley Money Machine.'
12 June 2016"The best fertiliser is the shadow of the gardener"

Chinese proverb
4 June 2016"There are few squeals so shrill as those of society’s winners defending their advantages."

Robert Shrimsley in the FT
8 May 2016 “Think you are too small to make a difference? Try sleeping with a mosquito”

The Dalai Lama
1 May 2016"The first half of our lives are ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.”

Clarence Seward Darrow
24 April 2016"A criminal is a person with predatory instincts; but without sufficient capital to form a corporation."

Clarence Seward Darrow
17 April 2016"I esteem the observations of great men more than I do their conclusions. Minds possessed of genius observe with exactitude and assurance; indeed when they outline the pros and cons of a matter for us, we are able to draw conclusions for ourselves."

10 April 2016Definition of Contract Negotiation:

"It's trying to persuade someone else that they want what you want."

Sarah Dixon, aged 14
3 April 2016“Price is what you pay, value is what you get”

Warren Buffett
30 March 2016"Great writers are the saints for the godless."

Anita Brookner, who died on 10th March 2016
22 March 2016"No man is an island, unless he is large and buoyant."

Elon Musk
10 January 2016"Infrastructures of power always inhabit the surface of the earth or the skies above the earth.... They are material things even though the metaphors used to describe them are often immaterial and wildly misleading. The Cloud is buildings with servers in them."

Trevor Paglen (FT magazine Jan 2, 2016)
5 January 2016"Anyone found here at night will be found here in the morning."

Notice in Texas
24 November 2015"The average expert is about as accurate as a dart-throwing chimpanzee."

Tim Harford (an intelligent economist who writes for the FT)
15 November 2015"Handshake contracts are valid. The Anglo-Saxon system is not the same as the system here in Central Europe."

Sepp Blatter, suspended president of Fifa. (FT interview)
8 November 2015Definition - Washington DC

"A city where men wear suits three sizes too large for them and dinners always start too early."

Gerard Araud, French Ambassador to USA (FT interview)
1 November 2015“I always ask a man with a beard, when you eat Shredded Wheat, how do you know when you’ve finished?”

Ken Dodd
25 October 2015“I’m a poor person who has money.”

Jonathan Franzen (interview in FT)
18 October 2015Overheard:
"Why are you still working in your 70s?"
"We need the money to pay for my wifestyle!"
27 September 2015"The biggest handicap that conservation faces is that we humans still consider ourselves to be separate from the rest of life, and the rest of life is merely there to support us. It is infantile arrogance."

Chris Packham (Guardian interview)

26 September 2015"The biggest handicap that conservation faces is that we humans still consider ourselves to be separate from the rest of life, and the rest of life is merely there to support us. It is infantile arrogance."

Chris Packham (Guardian interview)

23 August 2015Definition of Pop Art:

"Nostalgia for Now"

Pauline Boty
25 July 2015"Having a free press doesn't mean anyone cares."

Nell Zink - from her novel, The Wallcreeper
19 July 2015"I'm part of the art world.. but there are certain standardising forces in the art market inimical to creativity."

Charles Avery (interview in FT)
4 July 2015"A divorce is like an amputation, you survive but there is less of you."

Margaret Atwood, in Surfacing
8 March 2015"As a coach, you are only a dancing bear for the stars."

Udo Lattek (with thanks to Just Football's Robert Clucas Tomlinson)
1 March 2015"As ever, power is exercised by those who want power. And anyone who wants power definitely ought to be denied it."

Jeremy Paxman (writing in FT)
23 February 2015"If I weren't scared, I'd be awfully dangerous!"

Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Finance Minister (in Guardian interview with Helena Smith)
17 February 2015"Never patronise a child."

Michele Ferrero, chocolate maker, 1925 to 2015.
25 January 2015"We should silence anyone who opposes the right to freedom of speech."

Sir Boyle Roche, Irish politician who died in 1807
11 January 2015"I always thought old age would take longer."

Anon (found by Barry Humphries in Mexico)
4 January 2015"I attribute my long and continuing life to my prudent avoidance of cricket and all other forms of sport."

Barry Humphries (FT 20.12.14)
28 December 2014"My life has been one long descent into respectability."

Mandy Rice-Davies (1944-2014)
21 December 2014On Jeff Koons:

"He shows what happens when money and celebrity become yardsticks for culture. It is not a pretty sight."

Jackie Wullschlager, FT art critic
9 November 2014"Because we're the only private company in he world sending people to space, the next few months are obviously something that has a halo effect on every Virgin company."

Sir Richard Branson in an interview with the FT published the day after the Virgin space craft crashed killing one of the pilots.
2 November 2014"The failure of the US's foreign adventures often seems to have its roots in their total ignorance of things on the ground, of the countries they fiddle with."

Peter Carey (Guardian interview)
26 October 2014"A joke is perhaps the final and most beautiful affirmation of what it is to be fully human."

Richard Flanagan 2014 Man Booker Prize winner, in a Guardian webchat
19 October 2014"A resonant rhyme is like a first kiss. We all know what osculation is but, by God, it's different when your own lips are involved."

Jeremy Paxman on poetry. (FT Magazine)

12 October 2014"We are mired in a malaise, from which we are not likely to emerge any time soon."

Joseph Stiglitz, in a review of Martin Wolf's book The Shifts & The Shocks
5 October 2014"The law is human and flawed. Just like newspapers or medicine or the internet, it embodies all that is brilliant and awful about humankind."
Ian McEwan
28 September 2014"I don't go to orgies, because when you leave you don't know who to thank."

Barry Cryer
23 September 2014"God help England if she had no Scots to think for her."

George Bernard Shaw
21 September 2014"For me, a book is a room in your head that holds secrets."

John Lanchester on writing. (FT iinterview)
14 September 2014"The first time I see a jogger smiling. I'll try it."

Joan Rivers, who died last week
7 September 2014"A party full of 'likeable' people doesn't bear contemplating."

Will Self
31 August 2014"This world doesn't make it easy with the constant pressures to conform and be 'normal'. But when I realised that nobody was normal, it was a huge liberation, one that transformed my life."

Francesca Martinez, comedian and actress (FT Magazine)
24 August 2014"There are two things people always pay for, food and sex. I wasn't any good at cooking."

Madame Claude, a celebrated 20th century Paris brothel keeper.
14 August 2014"What's right is what's left if you do everything else wrong."

Robin Willliams, who died this week.
4 August 2014"It will be a war in which we risk almost everything of which we are proud, and in which we stand to gain nothing.

Even those who have worked for the war will enter it without enthusiasm, and amongst the majority of our countrymen the thought of it has aroused the deepest misgivings and the most poignant regret.

Some day we shall all regret it."

Manchester Guardian leading article 5 August 1914.
21 July 2014"The question is, why are private details that are transmitted online any different from the details of our lives that are stored in our private journals? There shouldn't be this distinction between digital and printed information."

Edward Snowden, interviewed in the Guardian
13 July 2014"Doing nothing is not an option"

Maathai Wangari
29 June 2014"After you have about $5m to $10m, your lifestyle doesn’t really change that much.”

Clive Palmer, Australian minerals magnate and politician, in interview with FT
1 June 2014"You should sleep as little as you can, and try and change the world."

Matthieu Pigasse (interview in FT)
25 May 2014"The day you are not angry any more, you are getting old and you will die."

Matthieu Pigasse (interview in FT)
18 May 2014"The birth of the lounge suit has been the death of creativity for men's dress."

Dr Richard Chartres, Bishop of London (quoted in Evening Standard)

11 May 2014“You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”

Warren Buffett
4 May 2014"When you have time to go fishing, you don't have the money. And when you have the money, you don't have the time."

Jeremy Paxman
27 April 2014"Less inequality is likely to make economies work better by increasing the ability of the entire population to participate, on more equal terms. An importan condition for this, in turn, is that politics not be unduly beholden to wealth."

Martin Wolf in the Financial Times
20 April 2014"There is no business on a dead planet."

Petter Stordalen, billionaire environmentalist
13 April 2014"To be honest, I don't like students very much."

Sir Andre Geim, Regius Professor of Physics, Manchester University (on Radio 4, Desert Island Discs)
6 April 2014‘He (Tony Blair) squandered a massive landslide from an electorate hungry for change, poured billions of public pounds into private pockets and accelerated the growing gap between rich and poor.’

Bob Crow, RMT Union leader, who died in March.
30 March 2014"I would be ashamed if I ever said anything I didn’t believe in, to get on personally."

Tony Benn, in a BBC radio interview with Jim Naughtie, shortly before his death.
23 March 2014
“I now want more time to devote to politics and more freedom to do so”

Tony Benn in 1999 on his retirement as an MP. (He attributed this remark to his wife in an interview on the BBC)
23 March 2014
“I now want more time to devote to politics and more freedom to do so”

Tony Benn in 1999 on his retirement as an MP. (He attributed this remark to his wife in an interview on the BBC)
16 March 2014"The future is the only certain thing that does not exist."

Otto Dov Kulka
9 March 2014 'In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.'

Albert Einstein
23 February 2014Definition of Peace in modern times:

"Peace is merely the interval while everyone is reloading."

John E Kiddell (letter in FT)
16 February 2014""The curious phenomenon is that contemporary art is descended from the avant-garde but has taken something that was a radical, complex gesture and made it popular and simple, so it misrepresents modernism's tradition."

Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery (FT interview)
9 February 2014"Real concern for the future is always more persuasive in those who have a genuine feeling for the past."

Nicolas Penny, Director of the National Gallery, interviewed in the FT by Jackie Wullschlager
2 February 2014"We pretend we're run by people. We're not run by anybody. The secret of modern Britain is that there is no power anywhere."

Rory Stewart MP, interviewed by Decca Aitkenhead
26 January 2014"What is the penalty for bigamy?"

"Two wives."

Traditional French joke
19 January 2014"I don't spend my days fussing about even large sums of money. It's not that I'm rich, it's just that I'd rather not look at a piece of paper with money written on it. It's not what I do."

Charles Saatchi, giving evidence in the trial of two former employees. Nov 2013
12 January 2014"Spare me your sermons and I will fix your sewers."

Teddy Kollek (former mayor of Jerusalem)
5 January 2014"Music makes people less obsessed with consumerism because a performance is not a consumable or ownable. It's not a commodity."

Ian Bostridge interviewed by Andrew Clark in the FT
29 December 2013"When I was sitting there at the Fed, I would say "Does anyone know what is going on?" ..... I couldn't tell what was really happening."

Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States , in an interview with Gillian Tett in the FT
22 December 2013"Limitless growth is the fantasy of economists, businesses and politicians."

Vandana Shiva, philosopher, writing in the Guardian
15 December 2013"If it weren't for electricity, we'd all be watching televison by candlelight."

George Gobel
8 December 2013"The English don't understand music, but they love the noise it makes."

Sir Thomas Beecham
1 December 2013"Religion is the frozen thought of man out of which they build temples."

J Krishnamurti (with thanks to Harry Eyres, FT.)
24 November 2013"Fear is a far more dominant force in human behaviour than euphoria"

Alan Greenspan, interviewed by Gillian Tett, FT.
17 November 2013"Physically I'm a chicken. Mentally, I'm bold. "

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, on himself.
10 November 2013"To experience sublime natural beauty is to confront the total inadequacy of language to describe what you see."

Eleanor Catton, Man Booker prize winner, in an article in The Guardian.
3 November 2013"Watching the prime minister trying to run the country is like watching Edward Scissorhands trying to make balloon animals."

Simon Hoggart. (He was referring to John Major but it might be applied to some other prime ministers as well!)
27 October 2013"It is a very long cultural decline from Lord Reith to the current Reith lectures: all the way from robust health to decadent triviality."

Anne-Carole Chamier (in FT)
20 October 2013"You'll never have a good art career unless your work fits into the elevator of a New York apartment block."

Grayson Perry, in the Reith lectures
13 October 2013"If a God has made this world, then I would not like to be the God; it's misery and distress would break my heart."
Arthur Schopenhauer
22 September 2013"Everything has to be acted to be real."

Mark Rylance, interviewed in the FT by Peter Aspden
15 September 2013"Science is the poetry of reality."

Richard Dawkins
25 August 2013"Democracy is a like bus, we will get off when we get to our destination."

Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey
18 August 2013"She [Tracey Emin] is the Sarah Palin of the art world."

Jeremy Deller, in FT interview
11 August 2013"It is not the business of the botanist to eradicate the weeds."

C. Northcote Parkinson
4 August 2013Definition of the monarchy:

"The light above politics"

Roger Scruton
28 July 2013"Just for the record, I'm not in favour of sin."

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury (speaking on BBC Radio 4)

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