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Neil Gaiman – Trigger Warning (2015)

…The new mother did not like the girl and treated her badly, always favoring her own daughter, who was indolent and rude. One day, her stepmother gave the girl, who was only eighteen, twenty dollars to buy her drugs. “Don’t stop on the way,” she said.

So the girl…

“Diamonds and Pearls: A Fairy Tale”

E. B. White – Writings from The New Yorker 1927-1976 (1950)

When we read the word “dismal” in the Times, we knew that the era of pure science was drawing to a close and the day of philosophical science was at hand. … There are, of course, no evil days in nature, no dies mali, and the forecast plainly showed that the weatherman had been spending his time indoors. To the intimates of rain, no day is dismal, and a dull sky is as plausible as any other. … No one can write knowingly of weather who walks bent over on wet days.

“Dismal?”

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Michio Kaku – Physics of the Future (2011)

Beginning in 1405, the Yongle emperor of China ordered a massive naval armada, the largest the world had ever seen, to explore the world. (The three puny naval ships of Columbus would have fit nicely on the deck of just one of these colossal vessels.) Seven massive expeditions were launched, each larger than the previous one. This fleet sailed around the coast of Southeast Asia and reached Africa, Madagascar, and perhaps even beyond that. The fleet brought back a rich bounty of goods, delicacies, and exotic animals from the far reaches of the earth. There are remarkable ancient woodcuts of African giraffes being paraded at a Ming Dynasty zoo.

National Geographic (May 2018)

We haven’t changed–and won’t change–three principles that underlie all that we do. We are on the side of science, on the side of facts, and on the side of the planet.

Salman Rushdie – The Satanic Verses (1988)

Mahound, any new idea is asked two questions. When it’s weak: will it compromise? We know the answer to that one. And now, Mahound, on your return to Jahilia, time for the second question: How do you behave when you win? When your enemies are at your mercy and your power has become absolute: what then?