I am like a machine being driven to excessive rotations: the bearings are incandescing and, in a minute, melted metal will begin to drip and everything will turn to nothing. Quick: get cold water, logic. I am pouring it over myself by the bucketload but the logic sizzles on the hot bearings and dissipates elusive white steam into the air.
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When he put the old-fashioned mechanical toy on her palm, she stopped breathing. It was a tiny representation of an atom, complete with colored ball bearings standing in for neutrons, protons, and on the outside, arranged on arcs of fine wire, electrons. Turning the key on the side made the electrons move, what she'd thought were ball bearings actually finely crafted spheres of glass that sparked with color. A brilliant, thoughtful, wonderful gift for a physics major. 'Why magnesium?' she asked, identifying the atomic number of the light metal. His hand on her jaw, his mouth on her own. 'Because it's beautifully explosive, just like my X.
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I'm like a machine being run over its RPM limit: The bearings are overheating - a minute longer, and the metal is going to melt and start dripping and that'll be the end of everything. I need a quick splash of cold water, logic. I pour it on in buckets, but the logic hisses on the hot bearings and dissipates in the air as a fleeting white mist. Well, of course, it's clear that you can't establish a function without taking into account what its limit is. And it's also clear that what I felt yesterday, that stupid "dissolving in the universe, " if you take it to its limit, is death. Because that's exactly what death is - the fullest possible dissolving of myself into the universe. Hence, if we let L stand for love and D for death, then L = f (D), i.e., love and death...
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Why has pachinko swept Japan? It can hardly be the excitement of gambling, since the risks and rewards are so small. During the hours spent in front of a pachinko machine, there is an almost total lack of stimulation other than the occasional rush of ball bearings. There is no thought, no movement; you have no control over the flow of balls, apart from holding a little lever which shoots them up to the top of the machine; you sit there enveloped in a cloud of heavy cigarette smoke, semi-dazed by the racket of millions of ball bearings falling through machines around you. Pachinko verges on sensory deprivation. It is the ultimate mental numbing, the final victory of the educational system." - Lost Japan, Eng. vers., 1996
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I propose to construct a new chart for navigating, on which I shall delineate all the sea and lands of the Ocean in their proper positions under their bearings; and further, I propose to prepare a book, and to put down all as it were in a picture, by latitude from the equator, and western longitude.
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I well remember how the thoughts I had up to the time of my discharge from the jail on every occasion were modified immediately after discharge, and after getting first-hand information myself. Somehow or other the jail atmosphere does not allow you to have all the bearings in your mind.
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The Earth is indeed a precious gift of the Creator who, in designing its intrinsic order, has given us bearings that guide us as stewards of his creation. Precisely from within this framework, the Church considers matters concerning the environment and its protection intimately linked to the theme of integral human development.
Pope Benedict XVI
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I discovered that some things are written for us. It's not that we can't change our ancestral bearings, or that the path or purpose of any of our lives is really written in stone. But what tends to happen sometimes is the path is so deeply inscribed in the birth that it becomes you and every variation away from it brings you back in ways that you are not controlling.
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Many children grow through adolescence with no ripples whatever and land smoothly and predictably in the adult world with both feet on the ground. Some who have stumbled and bumbled through childhood suddenly burst into bloom. Most shake, steady themselves, zigzag, fight, retreat, pick up, take new bearings, and finally find their own true balance.
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America is like one of those old-fashioned six-cylinder truck engines that can be missing two sparkplugs and have a broken flywheel and have a crankshaft that's 5000 millimeters off fitting properly, and two bad ball-bearings, and still runs. We're in that kind of situation. We can have substantial parts of the population committing suicide, and still run and look fairly good.
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Be methodical if you would succeed in business, or in anything. Have a work for every moment, and mind the moment's work. Whatever your calling, master all its bearings and details, its principles, instruments and applications. Method is essential if you would get through your work easily and with economy of time.
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Isn't success ridiculously easy, once it begins to succeed? ... after the strain and sweat and pushing until the very groins of your being shrieked protest, something like momentum happened. It took your wits and your concentration and your continued willing sweat, of course, to keep it going, but the success of success had ball bearings.
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I know I was very unstable and unhappy all through my life. I lost my mother and then my father. Losing Dad was like losing the bearings of my life. My sisters took it badly, but I took it worse. Throughout my lean phases, Dad was like a solid rock, supporting me, whether it was work, or my jail term.
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the result of a consistent and total substitution of lies for factual truth is not that the lie will now be accepted as truth, and truth be defamed as lie, but that the sense by which we take our bearings in the real world - and the category of truth versus falsehood is among the mental means to this end - is being destroyed.
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One year, I'd completely lost my bearings trying to follow potty training instruction from a psychiatric expert. I was stuck on step on, which stated without an atom of irony: "Before you begin, remove all stubbornness from the child." . . . I knew it only could have been written by someone whose suit coat was still spotless at the end of the day, not someone who had any hands-on experience with an actual two-year-old.
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It had never occurred to him that he should live in any other than what he would have called an ordinary way, with green glasses for hock, and excellent waiting at table. In warming himself at French social theories he had brought away no smell of scorching. We may handle even extreme opinions with impunity while our furniture, our dinner-giving, and preference for armorial bearings in our own ease, link us indissolubly with the established order.
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It's like guerrilla warfare. If you reveal your location, all it does is allow your opponent to improve his artillery bearings. It's better to move quietly, with stealth, under cover of night. You've got two choices: You can wear cammies and shimmy along on your belly, or you can put on a red coat and stand up for everyone to see. It comes down to whether you want to be the British army in the Revolutionary War or the Viet Cong. History tells us which tactic was more effective.
Ralph E. Reed
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The human mind is a fearful instrument of adaptation, and in nothing is this more clearly shown than in its mysterious powers of resilience, self-protection, and self-healing. Unless an event completely shatters the order of one's life, the mind, if it has youth and health and time enough, accepts the inevitable and gets itself ready for the next happening like a grimly dutiful American tourist who, on arriving at a new town, looks around him, takes his bearings, and says, "Well, where do I go from here?
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Faithfulness to the truth of history involves far more than a research, however patient and scrupulous, into special facts. Such facts may be detailed with the most minute exactness, and yet the narrative, taken as a whole, may be unmeaning or untrue. The narrator must seek to imbue himself with the life and spirit of the time. He must study events in their bearings near and remote; in the character, habits, and manners of those who took part in them. He must himself be, as it were, a sharer or a spectator of the action he describes.
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Every physical fact, every expression of nature, every feature of the earth, the work of any and all of those agents which make the face of the world what it is, and as we see it, is interesting and instructive. Until we get hold of a group of physical facts, we do not know what practical bearings they may have, though right-minded men know that they contain many precious jewels, which science, or the expert hand of philosophy will not fail top bring out, polished, and bright, and beautifully adapted to man's purposes.
Matthew Fontaine Maury
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Discoveries are always accidental; and the great use of science is by investigating the nature of the effects produced by any process or contrivance, and of the causes by which they are brought about, to explain the operation and determine the precise value of every new invention. This fixes as it were the latitude and longitude of each discovery, and enables us to place it in that part of the map of human knowledge which it ought to occupy. It likewise enables us to use it in taking bearings and distances, and in shaping our course when we go in search of new discoveries.
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But instead of taking the cue to leave, Patch crossed to Scott in three steps. He flung him around to face the wall. Scott tried to get his bearings, but Patch slammed him against the wall again, disorienting him further. "Touch her," he said in Scott's ear, his voice low and threatening, "and it'll be the biggest regret of your life." Before leaving, Patch flicked his eyes once in my direction. "He's not worth it." He paused. "And neither am I.
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The apologists for space science always seem over-impressed by engineering trivia and make far too much of non-stick frying pans and perfect ball-bearings. To my mind, the outstanding spin-off from space research is not new technology. The real bonus has been that for the first time in human history we have had a chance to look at the Earth from space, and the information gained from seeing from the outside our azure-green planet in all its global beauty has given rise to a whole new set of questions and answers.
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Simon blinked himself awake, confused, for a moment, why he was in a dungeon that smelled of dung rather than his Brooklyn bedroom - then, once he got his bearings, confused all over again about why he was being awoken in the middle of the night by a wide-eyed Scotsman. "Is there a fire?" Simon asked. "There better be a fire. Or a demon attack. And I'm not talking about some puny lower-lever demon, mind you. You want to wake me up in the middle of a dream about rock superstardom, it better be a Greater Demon.
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Woods are not like other spaces. To begin with, they are cubic. Their trees surround you, loom over you, press in from all sides. Woods choke off views & leave you muddled & without bearings. They make you feel small & confused & vulnerable, like a small child lost in a crowd of strange legs. Stand in a desert or prairie & you know you are in a big space. Stand in the woods and you only sense it. They are vast, featureless nowhere. And they are alive.
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I delight to come to my bearings, -not walk in procession with pomp and parade, in a conspicuous place, but to walk even with the Builder of the universe, if I may, -not to live in this restless, nervous, bustling, trivial Nineteenth Century, but stand or sit thoughtfully while it goes by. What are men celebrating? They are all on a committee of arrangements, and hourly expect a speech from somebody. God is only the president of the day, and Webster is his orator. I love to weigh, to settle, to gravitate toward that which most strongly and rightfully attracts me;-not hang by the beam of the scale and try to weigh less, -not suppose a case, but take the case that is
Henry David Thoreau
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Historians like a quiet life, and usually they get it. For the most part, history moves at a deliberate pace, working its changes subtly and incrementally. Nations and their institutions harden into shape or crumble away like sediment carried by the flow of a sluggish river. English history in particular seems the work of a temperate community, seldom shaken by convulsions. But there are moments when history is unsubtle; when change arrives in a violent rush, decisive, bloody, traumatic; as a truck-load of trouble, wiping out everything that gives a culture its bearings - custom, language, law, loyalty. 1066 was one of those moments.
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I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.
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In its severe forms, depression paralyzes all of the otherwise vital forces that make us human, leaving instead a bleak, despairing, desperate, and deadened state... Life is bloodless, pulseless, and yet present enough to allow a suffocating horror and pain. All bearings are lost; all things are dark and drained of feeling. The slippage into futility is first gradual, then utter. Thought, which is as pervasively affected by depression as mood, is morbid, confused, and stuporous. It is also vacillating, ruminative, indecisive, and self-castigating. The body is bone-weary; there is no will; nothing is that is not an effort, and nothing at all seems worth it. Sleep is fragmented, elusive, or all-consuming. Like an unstable, gas, an irritable exhaustion seeps into every crevice of thought and action.
Kay Redfield Jamison
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O Divine Poesy, goddess, daughter of Zeus, sustain for me this song of the various-minded man who, after he had plundered the innermost citadel of hallowed Troy, was made to stay grievously about the coasts of men, the sport of their customs, good and bad, while his heart, through all the sea-faring, ached with an agony to redeem himself and bring his company safe home. Vain hope - for them. The fools! Their own witlessness cast them aside. To destroy for meat the oxen of the most exalted Sun, wherefore the Sun-god blotted out the day of their return. Make this tale live for us in all its many bearings, O Muse.' - from Homer's Odyssey, translation by T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)
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THE economic consequences of fluctuations in the objective exchange-value of money have such important bearings on the life of the community and of the individual that as soon as the State had abandoned the attempt to exploit for fiscal ends its authority in monetary matters, and as soon as the large-scale development of the modern economic community had enabled the State to exert a decisive influence on the kind of money chosen by the market, it was an obvious step to think of attaining certain socio-political aims by influencing these consequences in a systematic manner. Modern currency policy is something essentially new; it differs fundamentally from earlier State activity in the monetary sphere.
Ludwig von Mises
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Yes, an actual full-sized camel. If you find that confusing, just think how the criosphinx must have felt. Where did the camel come from, you ask? I may have mentioned Walt's collection of amulets. Two of them summoned disgusting camels. I'd met them before, so I was less than excited when a ton of dromedary flesh flew across my line of sight, plowed into the sphinx, and collapsed on top of it. The sphinx growled in outrage as it tried to free itself. The camel grunted and farted. 'Hindenburg, ' I said. Only one camel could possibly fart that badly. 'Walt, why in the world-?' 'Sorry!' he yelled. 'Wrong amulet!' The technique worked, at any rate. The camel wasn't much of a fighter, but it was quite heavy and clumsy. The criosphinx snarled and clawed at the floor, trying unsuccessfully to push the camel off; but Hindenburg just splayed his legs, made alarmed honking sounds, and let loose gas. I moved to Walt's side and tried to get my bearings.
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The river of his youth had been diverted and poured out broadly across the land to seep through dirt to the roots of crops instead of running in its bed. The river was no longer a river, and the desert was no longer a desert. Nothing was as it had been. He knew what had happened to the sagelands. He himself had helped burn them. Then men like his father had seized the river without a trace of evil in their hearts, sure of themselves but ignorant, and children of their time entirely, with no other bearings to rely on. Irrigators and fruit-tree growers, they believed the river to be theirs. His own life spanned that time and this, and so he believed in the old fast river as much as he believed in apple orchards, and yet he saw that the two were at odds, the river defeated that apples might grow as far as Royal Slope. It made no more sense to love the river and at the same time kill it growing apples than it made sense to love small birds on the wing and shoot them over pointing dogs. But he'd come into the world in another time, a time immune to these contradictions and in the end he couldn't shake old ways any more than he could shake his name.
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family men, Claude." "Then why aren't they home with their families?" "You haven't been listening to me, Claude. It takes lots of honey to raise a family these days... " No, it isn't even that, these teddy bears don't like honey as much as they think they do. They think they're supposed to like it, the way they're supposed to like women and children. They think they're supposed to act like real grizzlies, but they don't feel it. You can't blame them, they just don't have it inside them. What they have, what they love most, is their memories: how the Coach used to shout niceworkpal whenever they caught the big ball or somehow hit the little one, how Dad used to wink when they caught one of his jokes, how when they repeated them he almost died laughing, so they told them and told them - if they told one really well he might do it. They memorized all the conversations verbatim, that about the pussies and the coons, the homers and the balls, the cams and the bearings. They're still memorizing. You can see them almost anytime you're out driving, there in the slow car just ahead, the young man at the wheel, the old man talking, the young man leaning a little to the right in order to hear better, the old man pointing out the properties, the young man looking and listening earnestly, straining to catch the old man's last word, the last joke verbatim, the last bit of know-how about the deals and the properties and the honey. When he thinks he's learned all he can from the old man, he'll shove him out of the car. You watch, next time you're out driving. "... these are the cream, Claude." These are the all-American fairies.
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My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time. These memories, which are my life-for we possess nothing certainly except the past-were always with me. Like the pigeons of St. Mark's, theywere everywhere, under my feet, singly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder or pecking a broken biscuit from between my lips; until, suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl. Thus it was that morning. These memories are the memorials and pledges of the vital hours of a lifetime. These hours of afflatus in the human spirit, the springs of art, are, in their mystery, akin to the epochs of history, when a race which for centuries has lived content, unknown, behind its own frontiers, digging, eating, sleeping, begetting, doing what was requisite for survival and nothing else, will, for a generation or two, stupefy the world; commit all manner of crimes, perhaps; follow the wildest chimeras, go down in the end in agony, but leave behind a record of new heights scaled and new rewards won for all mankind; the vision fades, the soul sickens, and the routine of survival starts again. The human soul enjoys these rare, classic periods, but, apart from them, we are seldom single or unique; we keep company in this world with a hoard of abstractions and reflections and counterfeits of ourselves - the sensual man, the economic man, the man of reason, the beast, the machine and the sleep-walker, and heaven knows what besides, all in our own image, indistinguishable from ourselves to the outward eye. We get borne along, out of sight in the press, unresisting, till we get the chance to drop behind unnoticed, or to dodge down a side street, pause, breathe freely and take our bearings, or to push ahead, out-distance our shadows, lead them a dance, so that when at length they catch up with us, they look at one another askance, knowing we have a secret we shall never share.
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Gentleman, ' I purr smoothly in greeting. Ezra and Cort circle me like sharks scenting blood. I know who they are, but not who is who since they're wearing black hoods over their heads. It covers them to the shoulder and has holes for the eyes and mouth. Their clothing is identical Italian designer label suits. Even their shoes are the same. Their eyes glow like steel ball-bearings from the safety of their masks. The mouths are different- one serious, one snarky- both ruby-red and kissable. While they circle Fate and me several times taking our measure, the other Master stands in a sphere of his own confidence. He's older and I don't mean just in age, but knowledge. Ezra and Cortez feel like babies compared to this man. I bet he's who I really have to impress. I wait, always meeting their eyes when their path moves them back to my face. I don't follow them with my gaze- I wait. 'Hello, ' the hood with the serious lips speaks in a smooth deep tone. I know it's not his true voice, but the one Kris calls The Boss. His eyes are kind and assessing. No one pays Fate any mind as she cowers at my thigh. I hold their undivided attention. Curly-locks is quiet- watchful- a predator sighting its quarry. Snarky mouth is leering at my chest and I smirk. Caught ya, Cortez Abernathy. 'I seem to be at a disadvantage conversing with you while you're hooded. I can't see you, but you can see me.' I try to get them to out themselves. It's a longshot. 'And who are you, Ma'am?' Ezra asks respectfully. 'Please call me Queen.' I draw on all of my lessons from Hillbrook to pull me through this conversation. The power in the air is stifling. I wonder if it's difficult for them to be in the same room without having a cage match for dominance. I feel like I'm on Animal Planet and the lions are circling. 'Queen, indeed, ' Cort says snidely under his breath and I wince. I turn my face from them in embarrassment. I should have gone with something less- less everything. I know I'm strong, but the word also emulates elegance and beauty. I'm neither. Have to say, tonight has sucked for my self-esteem. First, the dominant one overlooks me for Fate and now Cortez makes fun of me- lovely. 'What did you say to upset her?' Ezra accuses Cortez. 'Nothing, ' Cort complains in confusion. 'Please excuse my partner. Words are his profession and it seems they have failed him this evening. I will apologize for not sharing our names, but this gentleman is Dexter.' He gestures to the dominant man. I wait for him to shake my hand like a civilized person. He does not- he actually crosses his arms over his chest in disobedience. This shit is going to be a piece of cake.
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