I use this page to track my current Wikiquote research in wiki-formatted text. Please do not add or change any information on this page; I will most likely delete or revert such changes. If you absolutely must add something, please add your text with a proper signature and timestamp, and I'll fold it into my research (with attribution!) if I find it useful.


  • Fred R. Shapiro, ed (2006). The Yale Book of Quotations. Yale University Press. pp. 1104 pages. ISBN 0300107986. 


  • Aristotle: "exercise of vital powers" quote
    • Babylon 5 episode "The Exercise of Vital Powers" (aired 1997-06-02) claims the following as a quote of Aristotle's:
      • "Happiness is the exercise of vital powers, along lines of excellence, in a life affording them scope."
    • However, the only uses of this phrase I've found so far start with the B5 episode. Some notables have since quoted it in exactly this form:
    • Aristotle has many quotes about happiness, but none of them this succinct and apparently memorable line.
    • Q: Is this an actual Aristotle quote, or another JMS-ism like the unsourceable "ancient Egyptian blessing"?
    • Possible pre-B5 instances:
    • Neither Amazon nor LoC have this edition, but claims it has "347pp, including References", which suggests the cited quote is around 10% through the book.
    • GOT IT! Hamilton, The Greek Way, 1964 paperback edition, reissued 1993, ISBN 0393310779; p. 24 (of 212), or the lead sentence of the 5th paragraph of chapter 2, "Mind and Spirit":
      • The exercise of vital powers along lines of excellence in a life affording them scope" is an old Greek definition of happiness.
      • NOTE: This is not attributed to Aristotle or any particular Greek.
    • The closest Aristotle gets to this concise statement is in several passages in (Nicomachean) Ethics:
      • I.7: … whereas honour, pleasure, intellect, in fact every excellence we choose for their own sakes […] we choose them also with a view to happiness, conceiving that through their instrumentality we shall be happy…
      • I.13: … since Happiness is a kind of working of the soul in the way of perfect Excellence…
      • X.7: … Self-Sufficiency…
      • X.8: the liberal man must have money to do his liberal actions with, and the just man to meet his engagements (for mere intentions are uncertain, and even those who are unjust make a pretence of wishing to do justly), and the brave man must have power, if he is to perform any of the actions which appertain to his particular Virtue, and the man of perfected self-mastery must have opportunity of temptation, else how shall he or any of the others display his real character?
      • "Introduction" (by J. A. Smith): The main factor which determines success or failure in human life is the acquisition of certain powers, for Happiness is just the exercise or putting forth of these in actual living […] These powers arise from the due development of certain natural aptitudes […] In their developed form they are known as virtues (the Greek means simply "goodnesses", "perfections", "excellences", or "fitnesses"), some of them are physical, but others are psychical, […] These last fall into two groups, which Aristotle distinguishes as Goodnesses of Intellect and Goodnesses of Character […] The latter constitute "character", each of them as a "moral virtue" (literally "a goodness of character"), and upon them primarily depends the realisation of happiness.
        • Sheesh! No wonder Hamilton boiled it down. Aristotle is even more loquacious and indirect. His pupils must have paid him by the hour for his elocutions.
  • Umberto Eco: Boscoe Pertwee quote: "I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not sure."
    • InvisibleSun comment from Pertwee VFD:
      • Some of the Google results come up with a mention of Boscoe Pertwee in Umberto Eco's book Kant and the Platypus: Essays on Language and Cognition. One of the search results offers this quote from Eco: "a quotation from Boscoe Pertwee, an eighteenth century author (unknown to me) which I found in Gregory (1981:558): 'I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.'"


  • Categories
    • Copy & tweak guidelines from Wikipedia
    • How to do we want to organize them?
  • Dates: how to use Preferences formatting w/o creating 365+ articles?
  • Transwiki
    • Collecting multiproject overview of actual practice in my sandbox

Reference deskEdit

But what does it do?Edit

  • "But what does it do?" "Do? It doesn't do anything! That's the beauty of it!"
    • William Shatner, Barbary Coast (Cash & Cable)
    • Dick Van Dyke Show, "The Masterpiece" (auction)
    • Hitchhiker's Guide (2005), Arthur Dent & Slartibartfast
    • 51st State (2001), Felix & Elmo-NS
    • a Mel Brooks film (Robin Hood: MiT, Spaceballs-NIS)
    • Simpsons (Mr. Burns gives Simpsons stone head for Bart's blood [??])-NIS
    • Simpsons, "Brother Can You Spare Two Dimes" (Herb Powell's [Danny DeVito] drinking bird invention)-NIS, partial soundclip doesn't have it
    • Willy Wonka-NIS
    • Real Genius
    • Star Trek:TOS, "Trouble w/ Tribbles"
    • A Christmas Story' (the leg lamp)-NS
    • Kramer, Seinfeld
    • Catch-22
    • Ender's Game, "author's definitive ed.", p. 157, Ender & Bean
    • Nowhere — it's a psych experiment for false certainty
[Bookkeeper/inventor Harold Harold (Burgess Meredith) shows Detective Tim Tilson (Gary Conway) a large mechanical box with moving gears, pulleys, bells, and a fan.]
Harold Harold: Eh, I-I-I always take this with me when I travel. At home, I have a much bigger one.
Det. Tilson: What is it?
Harold Harold: Well, it's my... my therapy. I'm still perfecting it.
Det. Tilson: What does it do?
Harold Harold: Do?!
Det. Tilson: Yeah, what's it for?
Harold Harold: Well, nothing... nothing. I mean, that's the beauty of it! Uh, uh, every machine in the world does something, but not mine!
  • Burke's Law, "Who Killed 711?" [2.12], 9 December 1964, Library of Congress registration # LP32958; effective registration # RE-598-393; registration date 8 December 1992
    • LoC info fm; it and IMDb provide ep date & cast; apparently early in episode

Eat, drink, and be merry…Edit

Biblical passages:

  • A man hath no better thing under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry. ~ Ecclesiastes 8:15 (Old Testament)
    • Therfor Y preysid gladnesse, that no good was to a man vndur the sunne, no but to ete, and drynke, and to be ioiful; and that he schulde bere awei with hym silf oneli this of his trauel, in the daies of his lijf, whiche God yaf to hym vndur the sunne. ~ Wyclif's Bible, 1395 (Middle English)
  • Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die. ~ Isaiah 22:13 (Old Testament)
    • ioie and gladnesse is to sle caluys, and to strangle wetheris, to ete fleisch, and to drynke wyn; ete we, and drynke we, for we schulen die to morewe. ~ Wyclif's Bible, 1395 (Middle English)
  • Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. ~ Luke 12:19 (New Testament)
    • And Y schal seie to my soule, Soule, thou hast many goodis kept in to ful many yeeris; rest thou, ete, drynke, and make feeste. ~ Wyclif's Bible, 1395 (Middle English)
  • If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. ~ I Corinthians 15:32
    • If aftir man Y haue fouyten to beestis at Efesi, what profitith it to me, if deed men risen not ayen? Ete we, and drynke we, for we schulen die to morewe. ~ Wyclif's Bible, 1395 (Middle English)


Other informationEdit