Bill Bryson Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 100 Bill Bryson Quotes

#1. We used to build civilizations. Now we build shopping malls. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#2. We may be the living universe's supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously. Because - Author: Bill Bryson
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#3. From a selection of his other works, we might think him variously courtly, cerebral, metaphysical, melancholic, Machiavellian, neurotic, lighthearted, loving, and much more. Shakespeare was of course all these things - as a writer. We hardly know what he was as a person. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#4. In the United States, frozen cheese pizza is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Frozen pepperoni pizza, on the other hand, is regulated by the Department of Agriculture. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#5. My mother only ever said two things. She said,'I don't know, dear.'And she said,'Can I get you a sandwich, honey? - Author: Bill Bryson
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#6. In my experience, the last people you want trying to solve any problem, but especially those involving roads, are highway engineers. They operate from the principle that while no traffic problem can ever truly be solved, it can be spread over a much larger area. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#7. I grew up, really, in the days before air conditioning. So I can remember what it was like to be really hot, for instance, and I can remember what it was like when your barber shop and your local stores weren't air conditioned, so it was hot when you went in them and they propped the doors open. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#8. The most elusive element of all, however, appears to be francium28, which is so rare that it is thought that our entire planet may contain, at any given moment, fewer than twenty francium atoms. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#9. So what is your star sign?' Said Mary Ellen 'Cunnilingus' Katz answered looking profoundly unhappy. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#10. As my father always used to tell me, 'You see, son, there's always someone in the world worse off than you.' And I always used to think, 'So? - Author: Bill Bryson
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#11. Still, I never really mind bad service in a restaurant. It makes me feel better about not leaving a tip. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#12. I think it's only right that crazy people should have their own city, but I cannot for the life of me see why a sane person would want to go there. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#13. In fact, overwhelmingly museum displays are artificial. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#14. There is no question that a Neanderthal could easily beat us up. So, too, presumably could their women, which may be why we are only 2 percent Neanderthal instead of 50 percent. Those bitches were too scary for us. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#15. Sometimes it rained, but mostly it was just dull, a land without shadows. It was like living inside Tupperware. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#16. They are, reluctantly or enthusiastically, accepting the idea that humans are as much an accident of nature as a product of orderly development. But - Author: Bill Bryson
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#17. If you can imagine a man having a vasectomy without anesthetic to the sound of frantic sitar-playing, you will have some idea of what popular Turkish music is like. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#18. Traveling is more fun
hell, life is more fun
if you can treat it as a series of impulses. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#19. The hardest part was coming to terms with the constant dispiriting discovery that there is always more hill. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#20. Every day in every way I am getting better and better.* - Author: Bill Bryson
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#21. The Italians even have a word for the mark left on a table by a moist glass (culacino) while the Gaelic speakers of Scotland, not to be outdone, have a word for the itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whiskey. (Wouldn't they just?) It's sgriob. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#22. In the mystifying world that was Victorian parenthood, obedience took precedence over all considerations of affection and happiness, and that odd, painful conviction remained the case in most well-heeled homes up until at least the time of the First World War. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#23. Not until 1902, at an early meeting of the International Congress of Zoology, did naturalists begin at last to show a spirit of compromise and adopt a universal code. Taxonomy - Author: Bill Bryson
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#24. To be sure, Wegener made mistakes. He asserted that Greenland is drifting west at about 1.6 kilometres a year, a clear nonsense. (Its more like a centimetre.) - Author: Bill Bryson
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#25. Before, prior to. There is no difference between these two except length and a certain affectedness on the part of 'prior to.' To paraphrase Bernstein, if you would use 'posterior to' instead of 'after,' then by all means use 'prior to' instead of 'before. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#26. Looking for a supernova, therefore, was a little like standing on the observation platform of the Empire State Building with a telescope and searching windows around Manhattan in the hope of finding, let us say, someone lighting a twenty-first birthday cake. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#27. As the biologist J. B. S. Haldane once famously observed: "The universe is not only queerer than we suppose; it is queerer than we can suppose." The - Author: Bill Bryson
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#28. Wallace, King and Sanders point out in Biology: The Science of Life (that rarest thing: a readable textbook), - Author: Bill Bryson
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#29. A world without newspapers or a world where the newspapers are purely electronic and you read them on a screen is not a very appealing world. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#30. Nothing - really, absolutely nothing - says more about Victorian Britain and its capacity for brilliance than that the century's most daring and iconic building was entrusted to a gardener. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#31. Nearly a quarter of American men were in the Armed forces [in 1968] . The rest were in school, in prison, or were George W. Bush. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#32. Four times I was honked at for having the temerity to proceed through town without the benefit of metal. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#33. What this means in practice is that if you are not a born worrier you have nothing to worry about (though of course you wouldn't be worrying anyway), whereas if you are a worrier by nature there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, so you may as well stop worrying, except of course you can't. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#34. There are only three things that can kill a farmer: lightning, rolling over in a tractor, and old age. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#35. As a rule of thumb, I would submit that if you need to call your floss provider, for any reason, you are probably not ready for this level of oral hygiene. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#36. How fast a man's beard grows, for instance, is partly a function of how much he thinks about sex (because thinking about sex produces a testosterone surge). - Author: Bill Bryson
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#37. ( ... )we all recognize a likeness of Shakespeare the instant we see one, and yet we don't really know what he looked like. It is like this with nearly every aspect of his life and character: He is at once the best known and least known of figures. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#38. Thoreau was an idiot. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#39. Mispronouncing "buoy." The thing that floats in a navigation channel is not a "boo-ee." It's a "boy." Think about it. Would you call something that floats "boo-ee-ant"? Also, in a similar vein, pronouncing Brett Favre's last name as if the "r" comes before the "v." It doesn't, so stop it. Hotel - Author: Bill Bryson
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#40. To be here now, alive in the twenty-first century and smart enough to know it, you also had to be the beneficiary of an extraordinary string of biological good fortune. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#41. It occurred to me with a certain uncomfortable forcefulness that I didn't know the first thing about the only planet I was ever going to live on. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#42. But what is life to a lichen ? Yet its impulse to exist, to be, is every bit as strong as ours arguably even stronger. If I were told that I had to spend decades being a furry growth on a rock in the woods, I believe I would lose the will to go on. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#43. Human memories are short and inaccurate. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#44. Annie Jump Cannon (left) and Henrietta Leavitt, whose unsung labours and incisive deductions made Hubble's breakthroughs possible. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#45. Life emerged so swiftly, in fact, that some authorities think it must have had help - perhaps a good deal of help. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#46. It's an unnerving thought that we may be the living universe's supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#47. The best that can be said for Norwegian television is that it gives you the sensation of a coma without the worry and inconvenience. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#48. Consider the Lichen. Lichens are just about the hardiest visible organisms on Earth, but the least ambitious. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#49. There is no such thing, incidentally, as one kudo. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#50. But perhaps nothing speaks more clearly for the absurdities of English pronunciation than that the word for the study of pronunciation in English, orthoepy, can itself be pronounced two ways. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#51. Can take up to ten million years to clean an ocean - but if you are not in a hurry it is marvellously efficient. Perhaps - Author: Bill Bryson
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#52. A third ... candidate for Shakespearean authorship was Christopher Marlowe. He was the right age (just two months older than Shakespeare), had the requisite talent, and would certainly have had ample leisure after 1593, assuming he wasn't too dead to work. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#53. Bill Tilden was the greatest - and most improbably great - tennis player of the age. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#54. We are so used to having a lot of comfort in our lives - to being clean, warm, and well fed - that we forget how recent most of that is. In fact, achieving these things took forever, and then they mostly came in a rush. - Author: Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson Quotes #926153
#55. But don't worry," she continued. "Most snakes don't want to hurt you. If you're out in the bush and a snake comes along, just stop dead and let it slide over your shoes."
This, I decided, was the least-likely-to-be-followed advice I have ever been given. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#56. Incidentally, the long-held idea that spices were used to mask rotting food doesn't stand up to much scrutiny. The only people who could afford most spices were the ones least likely to have bad meat, and anyway spices were too valuable to be used as a mask. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#57. For you to be here now, trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and curiously obliging manner to create you. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#58. When I was growing up I used to think that the best thing about coming from Des Moines was that it meant you didn't come from anywhere else in Iowa. By Iowa standards, Des Moines is a mecca of cosmopolitanism - Author: Bill Bryson
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#59. Sumptuary laws, as they were known, laid down precisely, if preposterously, who could wear what. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#60. For the moment we might very well call them DUNNOS (for Dark Unknown Nonreflective Nondetectable Objects Somewhere). Recent - Author: Bill Bryson
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#61. (When the company was finally broken up in the 1980s to satisfy antitrust regulators, it was worth more than the combined worth of General Electric, General Motors, Ford, IBM, Xerox, and Coca-Cola, and employed a million people.) Bell moved to Washington, D.C., became - Author: Bill Bryson
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#62. Every human body consists of about 10 quadrillion cells, but about 100 quadrillion bacterial cells. They are, in short, a big part of us. From the bacteria's point of view, of course, we are a rather small part of them. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#63. We're going to be in the wilderness in three days. There won't be doughnut stores. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#64. It may not look it, but all the glass on Earth is flowing downwards under the relentless drag of gravity. Remove a pane of really old glass from the window of a European cathedral and it will be noticeably thicker at the bottom than at the top. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#65. When I say "most people" I mean, of course, me after my first cocktail. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#66. We have a universe. It is a place of most wondrous and gratifying possibility, and beautiful, too. And it was all done in about the time it takes to make a sandwich. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#67. Whatever the losses in warmth and comfort, the gains in space proved irresistible. So the development of the fireplace became one of the great breakthroughs in domestic history: they allowed people to lay boards across the beams and create a whole new world upstairs. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#68. BEFORE HE CAME INTO a lot of money in 1839, Richard Plantagenet Temple Nugent Brydges Chandos Grenville, second Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, led a largely uneventful life. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#69. The AT is no longer the longest hiking trail - the Pacific Crest and Continental Divide trails, both out West, are slightly longer - but it will always be the first and greatest. It has a lot of friends. It deserves them. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#70. One planet, one experiment." If - Author: Bill Bryson
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#71. Eventually, mercifully, the waitress prised the spoons out of our hands and took the dessert stuff away, and we were able to stumble zombielike out into the night. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#72. Eating in Sweden is really just a series of heartbreaks. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#73. journal Science in 1980 contending that women are genetically inferior at mathematics. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#74. No less than 99.5 per cent of the world's habitable space by volume, according to one estimate, is fundamentally - in practical terms completely - off limits to us. It - Author: Bill Bryson
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#75. Louis Agassiz, the Swiss naturalist who became the most outspoken advocate of the idea that much of Earth had once been covered in ice, but alienated many in the process. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#76. It would be hard to think of a more overlooked person in the history of palaeontology than Mary Anning, - Author: Bill Bryson
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#77. Out of the thirty thousand types of edible plants thought to exist on Earth, just eleven - corn, rice, wheat, potatoes, cassava, sorghum, millet, beans, barley, rye, and oats - account for 93 percent of all that humans eat, and every one of them was first cultivated by our Neolithic ancestors. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#78. The great failure in education, much of the time, is the lack of excitement and stimulus - Author: Bill Bryson
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#79. His colleague Richard Feynman wanted to call these new basic particles partons16, as in Dolly, but was over-ruled. Instead they became known as quarks. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#80. In 1907, or so it has sometimes been written, Albert Einstein saw a workman fall off a roof and began to think about gravity. Alas, like many good stories this one appears to be apocryphal. According to Einstein himself, he was simply sitting in a chair when the problem of gravity occurred to him. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#81. Fears have been raised that in their enthusiasm scientists might inadvertently create a black hole or even something called "strange quarks," which could, theoretically, interact with other subatomic particles and propagate uncontrollably. If you are reading this, that hasn't happened. Finding - Author: Bill Bryson
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#82. The universe is an amazingly fickle and eventful place, and our existence within is a wonder. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#83. Bulgaria, I reflected as I walked back to the hotel, isn't a country; it's a near-death experience. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#84. Geologists are never at a loss for paperweights. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#85. I had a hangover you could sell to science, - Author: Bill Bryson
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#86. The average Southerner has the speech patterns of someone slipping in and out of consciousness. I can change my shoes and socks faster than most people in Mississippi can speak a sentence. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#87. If the Chandos portrait is not genuine, then we are left with two other possible likenesses to help us decide what William Shakespeare looked like. The first is the copperplate engraving that appeared as the frontispiece of the collected works of Shakespeare in 1623 - the famous First Folio. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#88. It's the place you would go if you wanted to buy a stereo system for under thirty-five dollars and didn't care if it sounded like the band was playing in a mailbox under water in a distant lake. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#89. The current best estimate for the Earth's weight is 5.9725 billion trillion tonnes, - Author: Bill Bryson
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#90. Archbishop James Ussher of the Church of Ireland made a careful study of the Bible and other historical sources and concluded, in a hefty tome called Annals of the Old Testament, that the Earth had been created at midday on 23 October 4004 BC, an assertion - Author: Bill Bryson
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#91. Carleton Coon of the University of Pennsylvania suggested that some modern races have different sources of origin, implying that some of us come from superior stock to others. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#92. Taxonomy is described sometimes as a science and sometimes as an art, but really it's a battleground. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#93. And then you might learn, as we did from a local, that the reason hundreds of starlings in flight will twist and turn in unison is because the ones on the outside are constantly trying to get to the inside where they feel safer. Some - Author: Bill Bryson
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#94. Many fishermen "fin" sharks - that is, slice their fins off, then dump them back into the water to die. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#95. It is fairly amazing to reflect that at the beginning of the twentieth century, and for some years beyond, the best scientific minds in the world couldn't actually tell you, in any meaningful way, where babies came from. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#96. The distance from the surface of Earth to the middle is 6,370 kilometres, which isn't so very far. It has been calculated that if you sunk a well to the centre and dropped a brick down it, it would take only forty-five minutes for it to hit the bottom - Author: Bill Bryson
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#97. Goodness knows what the world is coming to when park rangers carry service revolvers. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#98. Absolute brain size does not tell you everything or possibly sometimes even much. Elephants and whales both have brains larger than ours, but you wouldn't have much trouble outwitting them in contract negotiations. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#99. On this scale, according to John McPhee in Basin and Range, the distance from the fingertips of one hand to the wrist of the other is Precambrian. All of complex life is in one hand, and in a single stroke with a medium-grained nail file you could eradicate human history. - Author: Bill Bryson
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#100. Des Moines is like your typical American city; it's just these concentric circles of malls, built outward from the city. - Author: Bill Bryson
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