Posts Tagged ‘quotes’

quote - volcano

I don’t know how often I’ll get a chance to be topical at this blog. Let’s face it, my main M.O. is not to be a political pundit or a late-breaking news digest or a tech help forum; we’re dealing with fiction. And really out there fiction, for the most part, much of which bears an original copyright date of 1960 or earlier.

But right now in Iceland, a volcano is spewing ash into the sky and grounding European flights. At the exact same time (but over a century ago), Nemo and everyone aboard the Nautilus has slipped into a huge cavern which is actually the interior of an extinct volcano, and home to his personal coal mines, to be harvested (is this the correct context to use the word “smelted”?) as fuel for his submarine whenever he wishes.

I ask you to please indulge me if I seem a little overly-triumphant by this coincidence, but who knows when I’ll get another chance to be so… relevant.

By the way — whoever smelted, delted.

I’m just sayin’.


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quote home port

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The violence of these subterranean forces is constantly diminishing. Volcanoes were numerous in the world’s early days, but they’re becoming extinct one by one. The heat inside the earth is weakening, the temperature in the lower strata of our planet is declining appreciably each century, all this to our detriment, because that heat is life.”

— Professor Aronnax

…And in the void left by diminishing volcanic activity, we seem to be left with a whole lot of seismic activity. If Verne were alive today, I imagine he’d be pretty interested in our planet’s recent rash of large earthquakes.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth Part 2, anyone?

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For Conseil, the captain was still a neglected genius who, weary of earth’s deceptions, had been driven to take refuge in this inaccessible medium where he was free to follow his instincts. But to my mind, this theory explained only one side of Captain Nemo.


No, Captain Nemo was not content simply with avoiding humanity. His formidable submarine served not only his instincts for freedom but also, perhaps, his needs for some terrible revenge.”

— Professor Aronnax

Part II, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

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Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”

— H. L. Menken

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All the Crichton books depend to a certain extent on a little frisson of fear and suspense: that’s what kept you turning the pages. But a deeper source of their appeal was the author’s extravagant care in working out the clockwork mechanics of his experiments — the DNA replication in Jurassic Park, the time travel in Timeline, the submarine technology in Sphere. The novels have embedded in them little lectures or mini-seminars on, say, the Bernoulli principle, voice-recognition software or medieval jousting etiquette …

The best of the Crichton novels have about them a boys’ adventure quality. They owe something to the Saturday-afternoon movie serials that Mr. Crichton watched as a boy and to the adventure novels of Arthur Conan Doyle (from whom Mr. Crichton borrowed the title The Lost World and whose example showed that a novel could never have too many dinosaurs). These books thrive on yarn spinning, but they also take immense delight in the inner workings of things (as opposed to people, women especially), and they make the world — or the made-up world, anyway — seem boundlessly interesting. Readers come away entertained and also with the belief, not entirely illusory, that they have actually learned something.”

The New York Times

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