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I have tried, with little success, to get some of my friends to understand my amazement that the abstraction of integers for counting is both possible and useful. Is it not remarkable that 6 sheep plus 7 sheep makes 13 sheep; that 6 stones plus 7 stones make 13 stones? Is it not a miracle that the universe is so constructed that such a simple abstraction as a number is possible? To me this is one of the strongest examples of the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics. Indeed, I find it both strange and unexplainable.
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We've had a wonderful, wonderful life together. We've been in many places, we've had the experiences, and now we have the memories. But most of all we have developed the solid knowledge and understanding and background regarding the foundation stones of life, so that we know for a surety that what we are doing [in helping to build the Kingdom of God] is true. Those foundation stones are granite stones; not soft, not limestones. They are granite.
David B. Haight
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The desire to know the future gnaws at our bones. That is where it started, and might have ended, years ago. I had cast the stones, seeing their faces flicker and fall: Death, Love, Murder, Treachery, Hope. We are a treacherous people - half of our stones show betrayal and violence and death from those close, death from those far away. It is not so with other peoples. I have seen other sets that show only natural disasters: death from sickness, from age, the pain of a broken heart, loss in childbirth. And those stones are more than half full with pleasure and joy and plain, solid warnings like "You reap what you sow" and "Victory is not the same as satisfaction." Of course, we live in a land taken by force, by battle and murder and invasion. It is not so surprising that our stones reflect our history.
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So, before you are tempted to give up or get discouraged, remember all success is based on long term commitment, faith, discipline, attitude and a few stepping stones along the way. You might not like the stone you are on right now, but it's sure to be one of the stones that lead to great opportunities in the future.
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Let me take up your metaphor. Friendship is a vase, which, when it is flawed by heat or violence or accident, may as well be broken at once; it can never be trusted after. The more graceful and ornamental it was, the more clearly do we discern the hopelessness of restoring it to its former state. Coarse stones, if they are fractured, may be cemented again; precious stones, never.
Walter Savage Landor
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I have seen it over and over, the same sea, the same, slightly, indifferently swinging above the stones, icily free above the stones, above the stones and then the world. If you should dip your hand in, your wrist would ache immediately, your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burn as if the water were a transmutation of fire that feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray flame. If you tasted it, it would first taste bitter, then briny, then surely burn your tongue. It is like what we imagine knowledge to be: dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free, drawn form the cold hard mouth of the world, derived from the rocky breasts forever, flowing and drawn, and since our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.
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He sees with amazement that our defeats are but the stepping stones to victory and that all his victories are stepping stones to ruin. It was apparent to me that this bad man saw quite clearly the shadow of slowly and remorselessly approaching doom, and he railed at fortune for mocking him with the glitter of fleeting success.
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I've been meeting with Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino for years, trying to figure out how to fix the concert industry. We're all so overpaid. It's ridiculous. People stopped going to concerts because they can't afford them. The Rolling Stones are charging $650 per ticket! That just makes me speechless. I love the Stones, but I won't be attending.
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So they pass away: friends, kindred, the dearest-loved, grown people, aged, infants. As we go on the down-hill journey, the mile-stones are grave-stones, and on each more and more names are written; unless haply you live beyond man's common age, when friends have dropped off, and, tottering, and feeble, and unpitied, you reach the terminus alone.
William Makepeace Thackeray
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Stonehenge had an aura but it was also just stone. Then in the sixties, it became a great hedonistic, hippie, druid, rock-n-roll party site. There are amazing pictures of people up on the stones going wild and that's the image I recreated for my model of the project: full access to everyone. I even invented a Stonehenge soccer team that uses spaces between the stones as goals.
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On the beach, at dawn: Four small stones clearly Hugging each other. How many kinds of love Might there be in the world, And how many formations might they make And who am I ever To imagine I could know Such a marvelous business? When the sun broke It poured willingly its light Over the stones That did not move, not at all, Just as, to its always generous term, It shed its light on me, My own body that loves, Equally, to hug another body.
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The Beatles were no trouble... lots of girls. The Stones were black-jacketed guys, a rough crowd. A whole different scene between the Stones' black leather jackets and the Beatles' pretty-dressed girls with the ribbons in their hair, teenagers standing on the seats screaming, nothing broken.
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I talk. Jim runs. I tilt stones, Jim grabs the cold junk under the stones and -lickety-split! I climb hills. Jim yells off church steeples. I got a bank account. Jim's got the hair on his head, the yell in his mouth, the shirt on his back and the tennis shoes on his feet. How come I think he's richer?
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You walk for days among trees and among stones. Rarely does the eye light on a thing, and then only when it has recognized that thing as the sign of another thing: a print in the sand indicates the tiger's passage; a marsh announces a vein of water; the hibiscus flower, the end of winter. All the rest is silent and interchangeable; trees and stones are only what they are.
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We dare not trim stones to make God an altar, for if we do we ruin everything. We would spend time bringing people to the altar and saying, "Look at those beautiful stones we trimmed!" We merely need to accept the work that God has done for us in Christ. The object of His restrictions is to help us see how wonderful He is and to spend the rest of our lives rendering true worship to Him.
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When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow Park we saw a few daffodils close to the waterside. But as we went along there were more and yet more and at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a county turnpike toad. I never saw daffodils so beautiful. They grew about the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake.
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In 1965, my father was just twirling the dial of the radio to find something that would make me go to sleep, and as soon as I heard rock and roll there was no stopping me. It was during the height of Beatlemania and the British invasion, but I gravitated toward the harder, heavier music going on then, you know, the early Rolling Stones, the good Rolling Stones, and Paul Revere and the Raiders, who don't get the credit they deserve for spearheading the American '60s garage sound.
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Today that legend is inscribed on the stones that were used to build the walls of the school, and as the water falls out of the sky and over those stones, the words of the legend are carried down from the mountains and into the fields and gardens and orchards of Afghanistan. And as the water and the words rush past, who can fail to turn to his neighbor and whisper, with humility and awe-if this is what the weakest, the least valued, the most neglected among us are capable of achieving, truly is there anything we cannot do?
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My whole life is out here-the whole of my life... I'd come here naked, as a boy-straight from that river out there-throw my clothes on the floor and climb into that loft and lie there dreaming in the hay... All those summer days-scouring the banks of the Avon for smooth, round stones-scaring up ducks and foxes-kingfishers-swallows... somebody's dog... Oh, God-I want it back. Throwing stones that never reached the other shore. And the games-the games-the games, and all my friends...
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The minds of stone lovers had colonised stones as lichens clung to them with golden or grey-green florid stains. The human world of stones is caught in organic metaphors like flies in amber. Words came from flesh and hair and plants. Reniform, mammilated, botryoidal, dendrite, haematite. Carnelian is from carnal, from flesh. Serpentine and lizardite are stone reptiles ; phyllite is leafy-green.
A. S. Byatt
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A man inherited a field in which was an accumulation of old stone, part of an older hall. Of the old stone some had already been used in building the house in which he actually lived, not far from the old house of his fathers. Of the rest he took some and built a tower. But his friends coming perceived at once (without troubling to climb the steps) that these stones had formerly belonged to a more ancient building. So they pushed the tower over, with no little labour, and in order to look for hidden carvings and inscriptions, or to discover whence the man's distant forefathers had obtained their building material. Some suspecting a deposit of coal under the soil began to dig for it, and forgot even the stones. They all said: 'This tower is most interesting.' But they also said (after pushing it over): 'What a muddle it is in!' And even the man's own descendants, who might have been expected to consider what he had been about, were heard to murmur: 'He is such an odd fellow! Imagine using these old stones just to build a nonsensical tower! Why did not he restore the old house? he had no sense of proportion.' But from the top of that tower the man had been able to look out upon the sea.
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It doesn't matter where you are right now. No matter where you are, you're on the way to greatness If you desire that reality. Be present. Be grateful for the stepping stones that have you here today reflecting on your dreams. Stepping stones are a necessary part of the success process. Go into overdrive now. You can do this. No one ever made it in just one day. Each step is a part of the process. It doesn't matter what it takes! You're winning! Keep flowing all the way there. Stay up. You were born a winner!
Sereda Aleta Dailey
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Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move on. They move away. The moments that used to define them - a mother's approval, a father's nod - are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.
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A parable: A man was examining the construction of a cathedral. He asked a stone mason what he was doing chipping the stones, and the mason replied, "I am making stones." He asked a stone carver what he was doing. "I am carving a gargoyle." And so it went, each person said in detail what they were doing. Finally he came to an old woman who was sweeping the ground. She said. "I am helping build a cathedral." ...Most of the time each person is immersed in the details of one special part of the whole and does not think of how what they are doing relates to the larger picture.
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The Sun Going South In late sunshine I wander troubled. Restless I wander in autumn sunlight. Too many changes, partings, and deaths. Doors have closed that were always open. Trees that held the sky up are cut down. So much that I alone remember! This creek runs dry among its stones. Souls of the dead, come drink this water! Come into this side valley with me, a restless old woman, unseemly, troubled, walking on dry grass, dry stones.
Ursula K. Le Guin
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Only those who truly love and who are truly strong can sustain their lives as a dream. You dwell in your own enchantment. Life throws stones at you, but your love and your dream change those stones into the flowers of discovery. Even if you lose, or are defeated by things, your triumph will always be exemplary. And if no one knows it, then there are places that do. People like you enrich the dreams of the worlds, and it is dreams that create history. People like you are unknowing transformers of things, protected by your own fairy-tale, by love.
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Nobody can tell you about that sword all that there is to be told of it; for those that know of those paths of Space on which its metals once floated, till Earth caught them one by one as she sailed past on her orbit, have little time to waste on such things as magic and so cannot tell you how the sword was made, and those who know whence poetry is, and the need that man has for song, or know any one of the fifty branches of magic, have little time to waste on such things as science, and so cannot tell you whence its ingredients came. Enough that it was once beyond our Earth and was now here amongst our mundane stones; that it was once but as those stones, and now had something in it such as soft music has; let those that can define it.
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There were in the camp a number of Mexican slaves and these ran forth calling out in spanish and were brained or shot and one of the Delawares emerged from the smoke with a naked infant dangling in each hand and squatted at a ring of midden stones and swung them by the heels each in turn and bashed their heads against the stones so that the brains burst forth through the fontanel in a bloody spew and humans on fire came shrieking forth like berserkers and the riders hacked them down with their enormous knives and a young woman ran up and embraced the bloodied forefeet of Glanton's warhorse.
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And now for the vapor-bath: on a framework of three sticks, meeting at the top, they stretch pieces of woolen cloth, taking care to get the joints as perfect as they can, and inside this little tent they put a dish with red-hot stones in it. Then they take some hemp seed, creep into the tent, and throw the seed on to the hot stones. At once it begins to smoke, giving off a vapor unsurpassed by any vapor-bath one could find in Greece. The Sythians enjoy it so much that they howl with pleasure. This is their substitute for an ordinary bath in water, which they never use.
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Sometimes Alton Darwin would talk to me about the planet he was on before he was transported in a steel box to Athena. 'Drugs were food, ' he said. 'I was in the food business. Just because people on one planet eat a certain kind of food they're hungry for, that makes them feel better after they eat it, that doesn't mean people on other planets shouldn't eat something else. On some planets I'm sure there are people who eat stones, and then feel wonderful for a little while afterwords. Then it's time to eat stones again.
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In time they sank and decayed, and nothing is left of them except an occasional impression in stones, in stones now found in deserts and on high mountain peaks. Birdless forests block the sun in uninhabited lands. Insects swirl in the air. And then, in a majestic, bloodthirsty, and mighty heave, the spinal columns of the vertebrates rise as monstrous lizards and fabulous creatures; dragons flinging their fearful bellows up to a steaming sky... Slowly they become birds, birds as light as undreamt dreams. The searing roars become birdsong, whimpering flutes on warm nights.
Erik Fosnes Hansen
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If only we know, boss, what the stones and rain and flowers say. Maybe they call-call us-and we don't hear them. When will people's ears open, boss? When shall we have our eyes open to see? When shall we open our arms to embrace everything-stones, rain, flowers, and people? What do you think about that, boss? And what do your books have to say about that?
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Le savant doit ordonner ; on fait la science avec des faits comme une maison avec des pierres ; mais une accumulation de faits n'est pas plus une science qu'un tas de pierres n'est une maison. The Scientist must set in order. Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.
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