Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it enkindles the great.

Roger de Rabutin, Comte de Bussy (1618-1693) French soldier, libertine, writer [a.k.a. Roger Bussy-Rabutin]


I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.

Gilda Radner


I'd rather be a woman than a man. Women can cry, they can wear cute clothes, and they're first to be rescued off sinking ships.

Gilda Radner


I had to quit university because my Dungeons and Dragons character died.

Al Rae


No, it is a very interesting number, it is the smallest number expressible as a sum of two cubes in two different ways.

Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920) Indian mathematician when G.H. Hardy referred to 1,729 as a "dull" number


Hating something is too much work to do. What you want to do is ignore something. It is more effective.

Sridhar Ramaswamy


There is a level of cowardice lower than that of the conformist: the fashionable non-conformist.

Ayn Rand (1905-1982) Russian-American writer


In the field of morality, compromise is surrender to evil.

Ayn Rand (1905-1982) Russian-American writer


Pity for the guilty is treason to the innocent.
Ayn Rand

I would step in the way of a bullet if it were aimed at my husband. It is not self-sacrifice to die protecting that which you value: If the value is great enough, you do not care to exist without it. This applies to any alleged sacrifice for those one loves.

Ayn Rand (1905-1982) Russian-American writer


“Judge not, that ye be not judged”... is an abdication of moral responsibility: it is a moral blank check one gives to others in exchange for a moral blank check one expects for oneself. There is no escape from the fact that men have to make choices; so long as men have to make choices, there is no escape from moral values; so long as moral values are at stake, no moral neutrality is possible. To abstain from condemning a torturer, is to become an accessory to the torture and murder of his victims. The moral principle to adopt... is: “Judge, and be prepared to be judged.”

Ayn Rand (1905-1982) Russian-American writer


You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.

Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973) American suffragist, politician


You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go.

Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973) American suffragist, politician


Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining.

Jeff Raskin (contemp.) American computer scientist, writer Doctor Dobb's Journal, interview


A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history -- with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.

Mitch Ratcliffe (contemp.) American computer scientist, writer Technology Review (Apr 1992)


Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn't block traffic.

Dan Rather (b. 1931) American broadcast journalist


It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray-haired. But most of them were boys when they died, they gave up two lives -- the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for their county, for us. All we can do is remember.

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) US President (1981-89), actor

Remarks at Veteran's Day ceremony, Arlington National Cemetery (11 Nov. 1985)


Thomas Jefferson once said, “We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.” And ever since he told me that I stopped worrying.

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) US President (1981-89), actor


To those who cite the First Amendment as reason for excluding God from more and more of our institutions everyday; I say: The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny.

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) US President (1981-89), actor


Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.

Ambrose Redmoon (contemp.)


Overwhelmingly the terrorists have been Mohammedan males, moody representatives of a dysfunctional civilization that peaked in the twelfth century and knows it. Now, since these loons are known to be very high risks for blowing things up, it might make sense to focus on them in searches. Ah, but this would be profiling. It might offend terrorists. So we randomly search people we know not to be terrorists, thus avoiding profiling. See? It’s like losing your watch under a street light, but looking for it in a dark alley.

Fred Reed


Failure is not the only punishment for laziness; there is also the success of others.

Jules Renard (1864-1910) French writer Journal (1898)


The only man who is really free is the one who can turn down an invitation to dinner without giving an excuse.

Jules Renard (1864-1910) French writer


Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get stuck in jet engines.
John Renfield

Humor distorts nothing, and only false gods are laughed off their pedestals.

Agnes Repplier (1855-1950) American writer


This is the devilish thing about foreign affairs: they are foreign and will not always conform to our whim.

James Reston (1909-1995) Scottish-American journalist and editor


All politics are based on the indifference of the majority.

James Reston (1909-1995) Scottish-American journalist and editor New York Times (1968)


There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.

Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) British painter, critic Speech to the Royal Academy, London (11 Dec 1769)


So we reach into the raging chaos, and we pluck some small glittering thing, and we cling to it, and we tell ourselves it has meaning, and that the world is good, and we are not evil, and we will all go home in the end.

Anne Rice


In spite of all the refinements of civilization that conspired to make art-the dizzying perfection of the string quartet or the sprawling grandeur of Fragonard’s canvases -beauty was savage. It was as dangerous and lawless as the earth had been eons before man had one single coherent thought in his head or wrote codes of conduct on tablets of clay. Beauty was a Savage Garden.

Anne Rice The Vampire Lestat?


You convinced me long ago that the world was a Savage Garden...well, then, in the Savage Garden you shine beautifully, my friend...and in my wanderings...I always return to see the colors of the garden in your shadow, or reflected in your eyes.

Anne Rice The Vampire Lestat?


People who cease to believe in God or goodness altogether still believe in the devil. I don’t know why. No, I do indeed know why. Evil is always possible. And goodness is eternally difficult.

Anne Rice Interview With the Vampire


It occurred to him suddenly that he wasn't very good at bitterness or regret, that he didn't have the stamina for them, and if he was to recapture his dignity he had better shape up fast.
Anne Rice,              Queen of the Damned, Marius


No matter what a man's past may have been, his future is spotless.

John R. Rice (1895-1980) American evangelist, author


All big things in this world are done by people who are naive and have an idea that is obviously impossible.

Dr. Frank Richards


Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him.

Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642) French statesman and religious [Armand-Jean du Plessis] Mirame


Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared.

Eddie Rickenbacker (1890-1973) American industrialist and aviator


Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1963) German poet Letters to a Young Poet


I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain just to eat leaves!

Michael Rivero


In the name of ‘the war on terrorism,’ the U.S. government kills Muslims in Afghanistan who have never lifted a finger against the United States, but refuses to profile Muslims on its own territory who might be planning terrorist incidents.

Paul Craig Roberts


I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

Stephen Roberts


    VILLAGE BOY 2: We're ashamed to live here. Our fathers are cowards.
    O'REILLY: Don't you ever say that again about your fathers, because they are not cowards. You think I am brave because I carry a gun; well, your fathers are much braver because they carry responsibility, for you, your brothers, your sisters, and your mothers. And this responsibility is like a big rock that weighs a ton. It bends and it twists them until finally it buries them under the ground. And there's nobody says they have to do this. They do it because they love you, and because they want to. I have never had this kind of courage. Running a farm, working like a mule every day with no guarantee anything will ever come of it. This is bravery.

William Roberts (1813-1997) American screenwriter The Magnificent Seven (1960)


Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.

Rev. Pat Robertson (b. 1930) American politician and clergyman Speech at GOP Presidential Convention (1992)


If you need to visualize the soul, think of it as a cross between a wolf howl, a photon, and a dribble of dark molasses. But what it really is, as near as I can tell, is a packet of information. It's a program, a piece of hyperspatial software designed explicitly to interface with the Mystery.
Tom Robbins


Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do.
James Harvey Robinson The Mind in the Making


We should have been expecting it. You tangle with a foot-long Cockroach and live through it, naturally you have to expect a giant lizard with three tits to come along sooner or later.

Spider Robinson (b. 1948) American-Canadian author Callahan's Legacy (1996)


Just as there are Laws of Conservation of Matter and Energy, so there are in fact Laws of Conservation of Pain and Joy. Neither can ever be created or destroyed. But one can be converted into the other.

Spider Robinson (b. 1948) American-Canadian author Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon


People with glasses are lucky. They have stars on rainy nights.

Spider Robinson (b. 1948) American-Canadian author


Yes, I know my enemies, they're the teachers who taught me to fight me: Compromise, Conformity, Assimilation, Submission, Ignorance, Hypocrisy, Brutality, the Elite, all of which are American Dreams.
Zack de la Rocha


One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than fifty preaching it.

Knute Rockne (1888-1931) American football coach


MARTIN: I'm a parent. I haven't got the luxury of principles.

Robert Rodat (b. 1953) American screenwriter The Patriot (2000)


I would rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the one who sold it.

Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist


If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?

Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist


Horsemanship through the history of all nations has been considered one of the highest accomplishments. You can't pass a park without seeing a statue of some old codger on a horse.
Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist


You can't say civilization don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way.

Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist


I think there are two areas where new ideas are terribly dangerous: economics and sex. By and large, it's all been tried, and if it's really new, it's probably illegal or dangerous or unhealthy.

Felix G. Rohatyn (b. 1928) Austrian-American banker and diplomat


The walls we build around us to keep out pain also keep out joy.

Jim Rohn

Am I self-righteous? Why not? It's not like I can count on you to be righteous for me.
Henry Rollins


You would think that pot had some kind of power. I mean, come on, it's a plant, not a reason for living... Controlled by a plant, how hilarious. A plant, a god damn plant
Henry Rollins


Nothing brings people together more than mutual hatred

Henry Rollins


When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) First Lady of the US (1932-45)


It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) First Lady of the US (1932-45)


Be sincere; be brief; be seated.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) US President (1932-1945) Advice on speechmaking to his son, James


No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (1901-1908)


Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (1901-1908)


It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong stumbled or where the doer of the deed could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again. Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (1901-1908) "The Strenuous Life" (speech)


Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (1901-1908) Speech (1913)


It isn’t evil that’s running the earth, but mediocrity. The crime is not that Nero played while Rome burned, but that he played badly.
Ned Rorem


Too many people too often put off making hard disk backups until times are less hectic, forgetting that there is no time more hectic than when you have a report due in two hours and get a "Disk error reading drive C:" message on your display.

Winn L. Rosch (contemp.) computer writer, journalist PC Magazine (29 Oct 1985)


When you take my arm, and we begin that awkward, stately walk toward your husband-to-be, I will envy him only one thing. He will be able to see you coming toward him. He will behold you in your brightness, confidence and wonder, as you cause everyone to gasp in amazement, just as you did the day you were first presented to the world.

Roger Rosenblatt (b. 1940) American essayist, playwright, English professor To his daughter on her wedding


I'm not schooled in the science of human factors, but I suspect surprise is not an element of a robust user interface.

Chip Rosenthal (b. 1957) American computer engineer, designer, programmer


There are never any mistakes, only happy accidents.

Bob Ross


It was a great revelation to me when I realized I was ordinary, and that so were we all. I have never felt such freedom.

Ellen E. Ross (contemp.) Belief-L


I asked Ring Lardner the other day how he writes his short stories, and he said he wrote a few widely separated words or phrases on a piece of paper and then went back and filled in the spaces.

Harold Ross


If you're going to do something wrong, at least enjoy it.

Leo C. Rosten (1908-1997) Polish-American author and political scientist


I hate the sun, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

Johnny Rotten

It is not hard to confess our criminal acts, but our ridiculous and shameful acts.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) French philosopher and writer Confessions


Women are very high poly count.

Dan Rubenfield


There is only one blasphemy and that is the refusal to experience joy.
Paul Rudnick (b. 1957) American screenwriter, playwright


   GOMEZ: He has my father's eyes.
   MORTICIA: Gomez, take those out of his mouth.

Paul Rudnick (b. 1957) American screenwriter, playwright Addams Family Values (with David Levy III) (1993)


The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.

Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) American poet


It may be that the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong -- but that's the way to bet.

Damon Runyon (1884-1946) American writer and journalist


One of these days in your travels a guy is going to come up to you and show you a nice brand-new deck of cards on which the seal is not yet broken, and this guy is going to offer to bet you that he can make the Jack of Spades jump out of the deck and squirt cider in your ear. But, son, do not bet this man, for as sure as you stand there, you are going to end up with an earful of cider.

Damon Runyon (1884-1946) American writer and journalist


There is hardly anything in the world that some man can't make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey.

John Ruskin (1819-1900) English art critic and writer


Whereas it has long been known and declared that the poor have no right to the property of the rich, I wish it also to be known and declared that the rich have no right to the property of the poor.

John Ruskin (1819-1900) English art critic and writer Unto This Last (1862)


No one gossips about other people's secret virtues.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher


A certain power of enduring boredom is essential to a happy life. The lives of most great men have not been exciting except at a few great moments. A generation that cannot endure boredom will be a generation of little men.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher

It is not altogether true that persuasion is one thing and force is another. Many forms of persuasion, even many of which everybody approves, are really a kind of force. Consider what we do to our children. We do not say to them: "Some people think the earth is round, and others think it flat; when you grow up, you can, if you like, examine the evidence and form your own conclusion." Instead of this we say: "The earth is round." By the time our children are old enough to examine the evidence, our propaganda has closed their minds, and the most persuasive arguments of the Flat Earth Society make no impression. The same applies to the moral precepts that we consider really important, such as "don't pick your nose" or "don't eat peas with a knife.", There may, for ought I know, be admirable reasons for eating peas with a knife, but the hypnotic effect of early persuasion has made me completely incapable of appreciating them.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher


I am firm. You are obstinate. He is a pig-headed fool.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher


Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher


Nine-tenths of the appeal of pornography is due to the indecent feelings concerning sex which moralists inculcate in the young; the other tenth is physiological, and will occur in one way or another whatever the state of the law may be. On these grounds, although I fear that few will agree with me, I am firmly persuaded that there ought to be no law whatsoever on the subject of obscene publications.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher


A stupid man's report of what a clever man says is never accurate because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher


Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher


In America, everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards.
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher


One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher


The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher Marriage and Morals


This is patently absurd; but whoever wishes to become a philosopher must learn not to be frightened by absurdities.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher


To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher


Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting.

Lord John Russell (1792-1878) British politician


If peace cannot be maintained with honor, it is no longer peace.

Lord John Russell (1792-1878) British politician Letter to Greenrock (19 Sep 1853)


But regardless of whether Hitler or the mass murderer of your choice sincerely regretted his actions in his last moments and made it to Heaven, with all due respect, what difference does it make to you? Apart from the awkward silence if you happen to bump into him there, I mean.

John "jr" Russell (contemp.) Belief-L (24 Nov. 1999)


Everyone should be prepared at times to re-examine the foundations of their beliefs, to view the world from others' perspectives, and to seriously consider the possibility that what they accept as the Absolute Truth may, in fact, not be true at all -- except me, of course, because I *know* I'm right.

John "jr" Russell (contemp.) Belief-L


In my opinion, any faith that cannot withstand a little shaking isn't constructed too well to begin with. Jesus built his church on a rock, not on swampland.

John "jr" Russell (contemp.) Belief-L


My, how the legal system has changed. It used to be that having a pathological fear and hatred of the victim was considered a *motive*. Now it's a *defense*.

John "jr" Russell (contemp.) Belief-L (8-Nov-1999)


In his soul, he knew with sudden certainty that it was not rebellion or doubt or error or even sin that broke God’s heart; it was indifference.
Mary Doria Russel, Children of God

Taking joy in life is a woman's best cosmetic.

Rosalind Russell (1911-1976) American actress, philanthropist


Acting is standing up naked and turning around slowly.

Rosalind Russell (1911-1976) American actress, philanthropist Life Is a Banquet (1977)