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One good suit is worth a thousand resumes.
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One man's brain plus one other will produce one half as many ideas as one
man would have produced alone. These two plus two more will produce half
again as many ideas. These four plus four more begin to represent a
creative meeting, and the ratio changes to one quarter as many ...
-- Anthony Chevins
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One of your most ancient writers, a historian named Herodotus, tells of a
thief who was to be executed. As he was taken away he made a bargain with
the king: in one year he would teach the king's favorite horse to sing
hymns. The other prisoners watched the thief singing to the horse and
laughed. "You will not succeed," they told him. "No one can."
To which the thief replied, "I have a year, and who knows what might
happen in that time. The king might die. The horse might die. I might die.
And perhaps the horse will learn to sing.
-- "The Mote in God's Eye", Niven and Pournelle
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One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan
is that there never was a plan in the first place.
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One promising concept that I came up with right away was that you could
manufacture personal air bags, then get a law passed requiring that they be
installed on congressmen to keep them from taking trips. Let's say your
congressman was trying to travel to Paris to do a fact-finding study on how
the French government handles diseases transmitted by sherbet. Just when he
got to the plane, his mandatory air bag, strapped around his waist, would
inflate -- FWWAAAAAAPPPP -- thus rendering him too large to fit through the
plane door. It could also be rigged to inflate whenever the congressman
proposed a law. ("Mr. Speaker, people ask me, why should October be
designated as Cuticle Inspection Month? And I answer that FWWAAAAAAPPPP.")
This would save millions of dollars, so I have no doubt that the public
would violently support a law requiring airbags on congressmen. The problem
is that your potential market is very small: there are only around 500
members of Congress, and some of them, such as House Speaker "Tip" O'Neil,
are already too large to fit on normal aircraft.
-- Dave Barry, "'Mister Mediocre' Restaurants"
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One way to make your old car run better is to look up the price of a new model.
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Only through hard work and perseverance can one truly suffer.
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Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't
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Optimism is the content of small men in high places.
-- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"
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Or you or I must yield up his life to Ahrimanes. I would rather it were you.
I should have no hesitation in sacrificing my own life to spare yours, but
we take stock next week, and it would not be fair on the company.
-- J. Wellington Wells