Here are a few passing remarks I’ve made in my zines.

[Gravity won a bunch of awards.] But nobody is making The Electroweak Force.
— 2014

I don’t always write deathless prose, but when I do, I go back and correct it.
— 2014

The correct answer to “are robots real?” is the same as to “are people real?” Some of them are. You wouldn’t know it from Hollywood.
— 2014

Standardization ownz, aka standardisation owns.
— 2014

What will we call a self-driving car? While it’s rare we can say “self-driving car” and when it’s ubiquitous we can say “car” but in between we’ll need a short word. I vote “auto” for max confusion.
— 2013

”Who goes to the deli to concentrate?”
I immediately thought, “of course not, you go to the gibbet to concentrate!”
— 2012

You ended up in room LD-11? I would never ever ever ever ever ever allow any medical room to get those initials.
— 2012

What, it’s not because of their world domination ambitions that you want to break up with Facebook, but because of their klutziness?
— 2012

My plan to destroy humanity is working fine, thanks for asking! Please allow 100 to 400 years for delivery.
— 2011

Rule by local warlords is the interim solution when there is no working central government, right? And we know from long, long history that it’s not stable. Eventually, however slowly, some warlords conquer others and become new governments. It’s a simple matter of waiting for Alexander the Great to turn the brutal chaos into a brutal dictatorship.
— 2010

AMD marketing ran a contest asking, “What would you do with 48 cores?” I didn’t bother to send in my entry: “Saturate memory bandwidth.”
— 2010

I couldn’t find consistent terminology for them in linguistics, because everybody makes up their own, so I conformed to the standard and made up my own.
— 2009

Plenty of states have the mosquito as state bird. I won’t be impressed until you visit one where it’s the state tree.
— 2009

Oh no, Einstein was smarter than me!
— 2009

A “long” poem is one over fifty lines! Chaucer would have been ashamed!
— 2008

If you sit by the river long enough, eventually you will fall in and float downstream past your enemy.
— 2008

Giving a good academic talk is hard. You have to be gentle with the audience and ruthless with the material.
— 2007

I thought the box and whiskers plot was how the cat planned to catch mice.
— 2007

Getting the right balance between thinking clearly and thinking freely is hard. Me and Galileo, I guess we’re the only ones.
— 2006

If I’m to be in charge of a large dangerous vehicle, I want flame to shoot out the back.
— 2006 on driving

Perhaps bread and circuses can be replaced by bird flu and CNN. Perhaps they already have been.
— 2006

Anything not done soon will not be done until after the next disaster. All that will be left is the 3-Kelvin background noise of experts murmuring of some Big Bang that nobody remembers.
— 2005 on tsunami preparedness

I predict that you will fail to learn from your failure to predict and continue to try to predict, just like me.
— 2004

What is up with Pizza Hat? (Don’t tell me that’s a hut.) Can we drive Subway underground? Can we restrict Starbucks to its natural audience, stars with bucks?
— 2003

I want a Muzak jammer that I can turn on every year on the day after Thanksgiving, and turn off on the day after Christmas. Do you think a 100km radius would be enough?
— 2003

Web comics are known in the posthyphenationworld as webcomics.
— 2003

The term “viral marketing” is an example of memetic marketing, or what we used to call making up cool names for stuff.
— 2001

How many grad students does it take to light a grill? Only one, but expect a large crowd for the explosion.
— 2001 after somebody actually asked “How many grad students does it take to light a grill?”

The change from math to religion is not such a big one. They’re both about ultimate truth.
— 2001

In my opinion, you cannot have An Ideal Husband without the tapestry of the Triumph of Love, which by the end of the play becomes an ironic comment on the ironic comment it makes at the end of Act I.
— 2001 on Oscar Wilde’s play

Human nature quiz: If we taught kids in school about Ponzi schemes, would there be fewer of them, or more?
— 2001 Ponzi schemes, not kids

To change a mind is a dangerous thing; you can never know what will come of it.
— 2000

Tragedy is more prestigious than comedy solely due to arbitrary cultural prejudice. This destructive misbelief must be eradicated; it’s second on my list after the acceptance of hair conditioner.
— 2000

The carrying capacity number is useless for practical planning. It’s kind of like the advertised speed of a supercomputer: It’s a number you’re guaranteed not to exceed, not a number you can get anywhere near.
— 1999 on human population limits

Some sponges have interconnected skeletons, so you can dissolve the sponge and get the framework. I’ve seen a picture of the glass skeleton of a glass sponge. Definitely cool. Glass sponges are kind of rare nowadays, but according to the fossil record they thrive in adverse conditions, so if we trash the oceans at least we’ll get a consolation prize!
— 1999

I like the irony of getting the original energy from fusion, destroying hydrogen to get hydrogen.
— 1999 remark on the hydrogen economy

Now I see that natural disasters do have a downside after all.
— 1999 after bailing out the basement due to Hurricane Floyd

One diatom explains to the other, “Our relationship is purely planktonic.”
— 1997

Pascal’s wager misses the point. If there is a deity at all, how do we know what it wants us to believe? Maybe atheists go to heaven, and everybody else is sentenced to play eternal tennis in the hot place. It’s equally consistent with the evidence.
— 1996

William Gibson, master of style, abuser of substance.
— 1996 not literally

Every language allows poor programmers the freedom to program badly. C requires good programmers to program badly.
— 1995 my answer to the saying “C allows good programmers the freedom to program well, and poor programmers the freedom to program badly”

I like to date vampires. I want to know—modern or ancient?
— 1995

The correct answer to “When did you stop beating your wife?” is “Which one?”
— 1994

Rhinoceros is to clarinet, a horn it does not have, as valet parking is to ’67 Chevy, a car it does not apply to.
— 1994

You are exactly Mae West, just not in a Mae West kind of way.
— 1994

I’m all in favor of desegregating our nation’s troubled bathrooms, but no forced bussing! I want to choose who I kiss!
— 1993, but mysteriously appropriate for 2016

The fantastic thing about being an Instant Expert is that nobody can understand you. Novices don’t understand because you use lots of words they don’t know, and experts don’t understand because you use them wrong.
— 1991-ish

May I console you with the word “lallation”, meaning “to substitute the phoneme /l/ for /r/”? It’s a lollapalooza.
— 1989

updated May 2016 with remarks through 2014