On 25 June 2000, Sheik Yamani, a former Saudi oil minister from 1962 to 1982, said at an interview with the newspaper "The Telegraph" that he predicted with a few decades, vast reserves of oil would be unwanted and the
"oil age" would come to an end.
"To compensate people for their physical weakness, the Creator provided us with an intellect
far superior to the rest of creation. With this intellect came the greatest instruction: To take care of all life."
James W. Ransom, "Water in Life" Assembly of First Nations, 1995.
"God should not be judged on the basis of the world - it is just one of his rough sketches."
Vincent van Gogh
"One person can make a difference, and every one should try." John F. Kennedy
"There are those look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask, why not?." Robert Kennedy
"All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honour, duty; mercy, hope."
"There is no such thing a little country. The greatness of a people is no
more determined by their number than the greatness of a man is determined by his height."
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." Winston Churchill
"Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt
"In life beauty perishes, but not in art." Leonardo Da Vinci
"It is the plain women who know about love; the beautiful women are too busy being fascinating."
"Mona Lisa is the only beauty who went through history and retained her reputation." Will Rogers
"Better slip with foot than with tongue." Benjamin Franklin
"Most people would rather die than think; many do." Bertrand Russell
"Always forgive your enemies nothing annoys them so much." Oscar Wilde
"An intellectual is someone who takes more words than necessary to tell more
than he knows." Adlai Stevenson
"A man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds." Mark Twain
"Patience is the art of hoping." Vauvenargues
"All pleasantries ought to be shortand for that matter, gravities too." Voltaire
"I must recommend to you what I endeavor to practice for myself, patience and perseverance." George Washington
On Saint Patrick's Day, a young comedian dressed in green spoke before a crowd.
His jokes were not too amusing. And a voice rose from the back.
"Hey! You don't just look green. Even your jokes are green!"
At a Book Club,
"Is Joe Doe an active member of the club?"
"Goodness! No. He only sits there and reads."
Professor: A fool can ask more questions than a wise man can answer.
Student: No wonder why we did so poorly at your exam last week.
Writer: Reading a book can be as stimulating as the real experience.
Wife: No wonder you are more interested in your books than me.
God of Target4
A general on a campaign was about to be defeated. In the battle, an army from the heaven suddenly joined his ranks and
turned defeat into victory. The general thereupon kowtowed to the leader of the army of heaven and asked of his name.
"I am the God of the Target."
"What have I done, my Honourable God of the Target, to deserve your help?'
"Because at the drilling field, your arrows never once hit me and I have always felt grateful to you."
Compiled by Xu Zi Chang, Xiao Lin (The Wood of Jests), Ming Dynasty.
A Scholar's Judgement4
One day a countryman spoke of his
aspiration, "I'll be satisfied with one hundred mu1 of paddy field."
Jealous of his aspiration, his neighbour said, "If you had one hundred mu of
paddy field, I would raise ten thousand ducks to eat all your paddy."
This touched off a heated argument and both sides refused to give in.
Finally, they decided to settle the dispute in yamen (court).2 Not
knowing where the address of the yamen, they needed to find their way to get
there. Upon passing by a Confucian college,3 they were impressed by
its red walls and tall doors. Thinking it was the yamen, they thus went inside
grappling with each other.
Inside they saw a scholar pacing in the lecture hall. Mistaking him for the
magistrate, they poured out before him their grievances, one against the other.
After hearing them out, the scholar said, "You go buy your paddy fields and
he goes raise his ducks. Then come back when I become a magistrate, so I may sit
in judgment of your case."
- Compiled by Shi Chengjin, Xiao De Hao (Very Funny), Ching Dynasty.
1 One mu is about 0.067 hectares; 2 yamen - government office and court in feudal China; 3 Confucian college - run privately by individual scholar; the only institution to provide
common people education; 4 Text and original translation in 100 Chinese Jokes Through The Ages, 1991.
Jokes & Poems (in French)
Le chameau voyage sans boire
Et moi, je bois sans voyager.
--- Guillaume Apollinaire
« Un "peut-être"; c'est un "oui" assuré.
"On verra"; c'est négociable.
Mais un "non" c'est un peu mois sûr.! »
--- le texte d'un dessin, magazine canadien L'actualité
Prenez un mot prenez-en deux
Faites cuire comme des oeufs
Prenez un petit bout de sens
Puis un grand morceau d'innocence
Faites chauffer a petit feu
Au petit feu de la technique
Versez la sauce énigmatique
Saupoudrez de quelques étoiles
Poivrez puis mettez les voiles
Ou voulez-vous donc en venir?
A écrire Vraiment? A écrire? --- Raymond Queneau
Etre et disparaitre
Vous êtes né un jour d'été
Vous êtes venu ici un matin
Vous êtes arrivé par les allées du jardin
Vous n'êtes pas resté longtemps
Vous êtes entré par la fenêtre
Vous êtes monté au septième étage
Votre journal à la main
Vous vous êtes excusé d'arriver si tard
Vous vous êtes assis
Vous vous êtes mis à parler
Votre journal est tombé
Vous vous vous êtes arrêté de parler
Vous vous être levé
Vous vous êtes excusé de partir si tôt
Vous êtes descendu du septième étage
Votre journal à la main
Vous êtes allé à la fenêtre
Vous êtes parti par les allées du verger
Vous êtes passé devant la gardien sans le regarder
Vous êtes sorti par la grille sans la fermer
Vous êtes retourné chez vous sans un mot
Vous n'êtes jamais revenu dans ce jardin
Vous êtes mort un jour d'été
D'une flèche d'amour égarée.
Déjeuner du matin
Il a mis le café
Dans la tasse
Il a mis le lait
Dans la tasse de café
Il a mis le sucre
Dans le café au lait
Avec la petite cuiller
Il a tourné
Il a bu le café au lait
Et il a reposé la tasse
Sans me parler
Il a allumé
Il a fait des ronds
Avec la fumée
Il a mis les cendres
Dans le cendrier
Sans me parler
Sans me regarder
Il s'est levé
Il a mis
Son manteau de pluie
Parce qu'il pleuvait
Et il est parti
Sous la pluie
Sans me regarder
Et moi j'ai pris
Ma tête dans ma main
Et j'ai pleuré
--- Jacques Prévert, Gallimard, 1972