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poetry: exciting

EMBO Practical Course: Bioinformatics and Genome Analysis, 5–17 June 2017.

art + literature

daily quotation server archives

In the late 90’s I started (a good decade for starts) a daily quotation server project at The domain is now defunct—some pages are partially viewable at the Way Back Machine.

Below is the list of quotes I had collected by the end of the life of the project. Most are about love—duh—and a few are jolly jests from funny trenches. You know, that place where mustard gas makes your eyes water.

The quotes weren’t scraped from quote archives—each is meaningful and hand-picked.

the quote archive

And now for full list of 1,600 other things worth reading. Such as everything Dorothy Parker has written and ... yes, even the Pinky and Brain quotes, which are a special kind of special.

Quote collections about love, heart, desire, life, death, god, mind, science.

Feeling lucky? Read 10 random quotes. Well, will you, punk?

Quotes about death

Little fly, thy summer’s play
My careless hand hath brushed away.
Am not I a fly like thee,
Or art not thou a man like me.
For I dance, and drink, and sing
Till some blind hand doth brush my wing.
If that is life, and strength, and breath
And the word of thought is death
Then am I a happy fly?
If I live, or if I die.
William Blake
Sleep is a death, O make me try
By sleeping, what it is to die,
And as gently lay my head
On my grave, as now my bed.
Sir Thomas Browne
Religio Medici, part II
I love thee with the love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
William Shakespeare
Macbeth, V. i. 19.
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Alfred Tennyson
Charge of the Light Brigade
Sleep—Death without dying—living, but not life.
Edwin Arnold
Death is sometimes a punishment, sometimes a gift;
To many it has come as a favor.
The prince who kept the world in awe,
The judge whose dictate fix’d the law;
The rich, the poor, the great, the small,
Are levelled; death confounds ’em all.
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me,
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.
Emily Dickinson
Life without a friend is like death without a witness.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only, how did you die?
Edmund Vance Cooke
How Did You Die?
Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.
A Haiku computer error message.
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.
A Haiku computer error message.
Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.
Don’t be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.
Bertolt Brecht
He is one of those people who would be enormously improved by death.
H.H. Munro
Those who fear death most are those who enjoy life least.
Marriage is the death of hope.
Woody Allen
At six o’clock we cleaned our cells,
At seven all was still,
But the sough and swing of a mighty wing
The prison seemed to fill,
For the Lord of Death with icy breath
Had entered in to kill.
Oscar Wilde
The Ballad of Reading Gaol
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death.
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not
wait at the end to arrest it.
Walt Whitman
Song of Myself
I do not believe that any man fears to be dead, but
only the stroke of death.
Francis Bacon
An Essay on Death
All tragedies are finish’d by a death,
All comedies are ended by a marriage.
Lord Byron
Don Juan, c.iii, st. 9
Vivre est un maladie dont le sommeil nous soulage
toutes les 16 heures. C’est un pallatif. La mort
est le remede.
[Living is an illness to which sleep provides
relief every sixteen hours. It’s a palliative.
The remedy is death.]
Nicolas-Sebastien Chamfort
Maximes et Pensees, ch. 2
Death hath so many doors to let out life.
John Fletcher
The Custom of the Country, II.ii
Then, with no throbs of fiery pain,
No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.
Samuel Johnson
Of Gray’s Odes
O death! I know it—’tis my famulus—
Thus turns to naught my fairest bliss!
That visions in abundance such as this
Must be disturbed by that dry prowler thus!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
For the crown of our life as it closes
Is darkness, the fruit there of dust;
No thorns go as deep as the rose’s,
And love is more cruel than lust.
Time turns the old days to derision,
Our loves into corpses or wives;
And marriage and death and division
Make barren our lives.
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Though they go mad they shall be sane.
Though they sink through the sea, they shall rise again.
Though lovers be lost, love shall not,
And death shall have no dominion.
Dylan Thomas
My life is light, waiting for the death wind,
Like a feather on the back of my hand.
T.S. Eliot
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
John Donne
Holy Sonnets X
Don’t strew me with roses after I’m dead.
When Death claims the light of my brow
No flowers of life will cheer me: instead
You may give me my roses now!
Thomas F. Healey
Suffer me to take your hand.
Suffer me to cherish you
Till the dawn is in the sky.
Whether I be false or true,
Death comes in a day or two.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Show me a love was done and through,
Tell me a kiss escaped its debt!
Son, to your death you’ll pay your due—
Women and elephants never forget.
Dorothy Parker
Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals
Oh, it is sure as it is sad
That any lad is every lad,
And what’s a girl, to dare impore
Her dear be hers forevermore?
Though he be tried and he be bold,
And swearing death should he be cold,
He’ll run the path the others went....
But you, my sweet, are different.
Dorothy Parker
In every parting there is an image of death.
George Eliot
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he pass’d;
And the eyes of the sleepers wax’d deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
Lord Byron
The Destruction of Sennacherib
To die, to sleep—
To sleep, perchance to dream, ay there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause; there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
William Shakespeare
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. ’Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
Thomas Paine
I do not want to believe that death is the gateway to another life. For me, it is a closed door. I do not say it is a step we must all take, but that it is a horrible and dirty adventure.
Albert Camus

news + thoughts

Happy 2017 `\pi` Day—Star Charts, Creatures Once Living and a Poem

Tue 14-03-2017

on a brim of echo,

capsized chamber
drawn into our constellation, and cooling.
—Paolo Marcazzan

Celebrate `\pi` Day (March 14th) with star chart of the digits. The charts draw 40,000 stars generated from the first 12 million digits.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
12,000,000 digits of `\pi` interpreted as a star catalogue. (details)

The 80 constellations are extinct animals and plants. Here you'll find old friends and new stories. Read about how Desmodus is always trying to escape or how Megalodon terrorizes the poor Tecopa! Most constellations have a story.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
Find friends and stories among the 80 constellations of extinct animals and plants. Oh look, a Dodo guardings his eggs! (details)

This year I collaborate with Paolo Marcazzan, a Canadian poet, who contributes a poem, Of Black Body, about space and things we might find and lose there.

Check out art from previous years: 2013 `\pi` Day and 2014 `\pi` Day, 2015 `\pi` Day and and 2016 `\pi` Day.

Data in New Dimensions: convergence of art, genomics and bioinformatics

Tue 07-03-2017

Art is science in love.
— E.F. Weisslitz

A behind-the-scenes look at the making of our stereoscopic images which were at display at the AGBT 2017 Conference in February. The art is a creative collaboration with Becton Dickinson and The Linus Group.

Its creation began with the concept of differences and my writeup of the creative and design process focuses on storytelling and how concept of differences is incorporated into the art.

Oh, and this might be a good time to pick up some red-blue 3D glasses.

BD Genomics 3D art exhibit - AGBT 2017 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
A stereoscopic image and its interpretive panel of single-cell transcriptomes of blood cells: diseased versus healthy control.

Interpreting P values

Thu 02-03-2017
A P value measures a sample’s compatibility with a hypothesis, not the truth of the hypothesis.

This month we continue our discussion about `P` values and focus on the fact that `P` value is a probability statement about the observed sample in the context of a hypothesis, not about the hypothesis being tested.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Interpreting P values. (read)

Given that we are always interested in making inferences about hypotheses, we discuss how `P` values can be used to do this by way of the Benjamin-Berger bound, `\bar{B}` on the Bayes factor, `B`.

Heuristics such as these are valuable in helping to interpret `P` values, though we stress that `P` values vary from sample to sample and hence many sources of evidence need to be examined before drawing scientific conclusions.

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2017) Points of Significance: Interpreting P values. Nature Methods 14:213–214.

Background reading

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2017) Points of significance: P values and the search for significance. Nature Methods 14:3–4.

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2013) Points of significance: Significance, P values and t–tests. Nature Methods 10:1041–1042.

...more about the Points of Significance column

Snellen Charts—Typography to Really Look at

Sat 18-02-2017

Another collection of typographical posters. These ones really ask you to look.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
Snellen charts designed using physical constants, Braille and elemental abundances in the universe and human body.

The charts show a variety of interesting symbols and operators found in science and math. The design is in the style of a Snellen chart and typset with the Rockwell font.

Essentials of Data Visualization—8-part video series

Fri 17-02-2017
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski

In collaboration with the Phil Poronnik and Kim Bell-Anderson at the University of Sydney, I'm delighted to share with you our 8-part video series project about thinking about drawing data and communicating science.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
Essentials of Data Visualization: Thinking about drawing data and communicating science.

We've created 8 videos, each focusing on a different essential idea in data visualization: encoding, shapes, color, uncertainty, design, drawing missing or unobserved data, labels and process.

The videos were designed as teaching materials. Each video comes with a slide deck and exercises.