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Scientific graphical abstracts — design guidelines

daily quotation server archives

In the late 90’s I started (a good decade for starts) a daily quotation server project at www.quoteserver.ca. 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 1,700+ 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?

13
Take not God’s name in vain: select a time when it will have effect.
48
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.
Sonnets from the Portuguese
104
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Trees
117
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul.
Essay on Man, Epistle i. 267.
243
Conceit is God’s gift to little men.
298
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Trees
370
Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.
Time Enough for Love
414
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
452
God must love stupid people, He made so many of them.
457
If it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.
556
% ar m God
ar: God does not exist
561
God made the integers; all else is the work of Man.
591
If you believe in the light, it’s because of obscurity.
If you believe in happiness it’s because of unhappiness.
If you believe in God, then you have to believe in the Devil.
Church of Notre Dame, Paris
609
O God, if there be a God, save my soul, if I have a soul!
611
See the happy moron,
He doesn’t give a damn.
I wish I were a moron.
My God! Perhaps I am!
706
An Apology for the Devil: It must be remembered that we have only heard one side of the case. God has written
all the books.
Note Books
741
And almost every one when age,
Disease, or sorrows strike him,
Inclines to think there is a God,
Or something very like Him.
Dipsychus, sc. vi
783
So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
So near is God to man,
When Duty whispers low, Thou must,
The youth replies, I can.
Voluntaries, iii
957
Gott ist tot: aber so wie die Art der Menschen ist, wird es vielleicht noch jahrtausendlang Hohlen geben, in denen man seinen Schatten zeigt.
[God is dead: but considering the state the species Man is in, there will perhaps be caves, for ages yet, in which his shadow will be shown.]
Ecce Homo
1082
O God! methinks it were a happy life,
To be no better than a homely swain;
To sit upon a hill, as I do now,
To carve out dials, quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes how they run,
How many make the hour full complete;
How many hours bring about the day;
How many days will finish up the year;
How many years a mortal man may live.
Henry VII, Part III, II.v.21
1213
I loved you without hope, a mute offender;
What jealous pangs, what shy despairs I knew!
A love as deep as this, as true, as tender,
God grant another may yet offer you.
I Loved You Once
1218
I have heard the song of the blossoms and the old chant of the sea,
And seen strange lands from under the arched white sails of ships;
But the loveliest things of beauty God ever has showed to me,
Are her voice, and her hair, and eyes, and the dear red curve of her lips.
Beauty
1284
And this, O love, my pitiable plight
Whenever from my circling arms you stray;
This little world of mine has lost its light....
I hope to God, my dear, that you can say
The same to me.
Rondeau Redouble
1333
How can I believe in God when just last week I got
my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?
1334
Man is a god in ruins.
1386
God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness
shows through.
1402
Which is it, is man one of God’s blunders or is
God one of man’s?
1416
Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the
sky as well as the earth!
1477
Nothing but blackness above
And nothing that moves but the cars...
God, if you wish for our love,
Fling us a handful of stars!
Caliban in the Coal Mines
1526
God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.
1534
If the average man is made in God’s image, then a man such as Beethoven or Aristotle is plainly superior to God, and so God may be jealous of him, and eager to see his superiority perish with his bodily frame. All animal breeders know how difficult it is to maintain a fine strain. The universe seems to be in a conspiracy to encourage the endless reproduction of peasants and Socialists, but a subtle and mysterious opposition stands eternally against the reproduction of philosophers.
In Defense of Women
1602
We turn toward God only to obtain the impossible.

Music for the Moon: Flunk's 'Down Here / Moon Above'

Sat 29-05-2021

The Sanctuary Project is a Lunar vault of science and art. It includes two fully sequenced human genomes, sequenced and assembled by us at Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre.

The first disc includes a song composed by Flunk for the (eventual) trip to the Moon.

But how do you send sound to space? I describe the inspiration, process and art behind the work.

The song 'Down Here / Moon Above' from Flunk's new album History of Everything Ever is our song for space. It appears on the Sanctuary genome discs, which aim to send two fully sequenced human genomes to the Moon. (more)

Happy 2021 $\pi$ Day—A forest of digits

Sun 14-03-2021

Celebrate $\pi$ Day (March 14th) and finally see the digits through the forest.

The 26th tree in the digit forest of $\pi$. Why is there a flower on the ground?. (details)

This year is full of botanical whimsy. A Lindenmayer system forest – deterministic but always changing. Feel free to stop and pick the flowers from the ground.

The first 46 digits of $\pi$ in 8 trees. There are so many more. (details)

And things can get crazy in the forest.

A forest of the digits of '\pi$, by ecosystem. (details) Check out art from previous years: 2013$\pi$Day and 2014$\pi$Day, 2015$\pi$Day, 2016$\pi$Day, 2017$\pi$Day, 2018$\pi$Day and 2019$\pi` Day.

Testing for rare conditions

Sun 30-05-2021

All that glitters is not gold. âW. Shakespeare

The sensitivity and specificity of a test do not necessarily correspond to its error rate. This becomes critically important when testing for a rare condition — a test with 99% sensitivity and specificity has an even chance of being wrong when the condition prevalence is 1%.

We discuss the positive predictive value (PPV) and how practices such as screen can increase it.

Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Testing for rare conditions. (read)

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2021) Points of significance: Testing for rare conditions. Nature Methods 18:224–225.

Standardization fallacy

Tue 09-02-2021

We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty! âD. Adams

A popular notion about experiments is that it's good to keep variability in subjects low to limit the influence of confounding factors. This is called standardization.

Unfortunately, although standardization increases power, it can induce unrealistically low variability and lead to results that do not generalize to the population of interest. And, in fact, may be irreproducible.

Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Standardization fallacy. (read)

Not paying attention to these details and thinking (or hoping) that standardization is always good is the "standardization fallacy". In this column, we look at how standardization can be balanced with heterogenization to avoid this thorny issue.

Voelkl, B., WÃ¼rbel, H., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2021) Points of significance: Standardization fallacy. Nature Methods 18:5–6.

Graphical Abstract Design Guidelines

Fri 13-11-2020

Clear, concise, legible and compelling.

Making a scientific graphical abstract? Refer to my practical design guidelines and redesign examples to improve organization, design and clarity of your graphical abstracts.

Graphical Abstract Design Guidelines — Clear, concise, legible and compelling.