Friday, 29 January 2016

Social Conservatism (An article in the New York Times)

I seldom take much interest in day to day politics, however I came across this excellent article in The New York Times today by David Brooks entitled 'What Republicans Should Say' which I believe does much to explain the gulf between left and right. But more importantly he refers to a speech by David Cameron in which he proposes solutions to ease poverty and hardship. The article is published in full below and link to the original at the bottom.

~~~~~~

For a few decades, American and British conservatism marched in tandem. Thatcher was philosophically akin to Reagan. John Major was akin to George Bush.

But now the two conservatisms have split. The key divide is over what to do about the slow-motion devastation being felt by the less educated, the working class and the poor.

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have appealed to working-class voters mostly by blaming outsiders. If we could kick out all the immigrants there wouldn’t be lawbreakers driving down wages. If we could dismantle the Washington cartel the economy would rise.

In Britain David Cameron is going down another path. This month he gave a speech called “Life Chances.” Not to give away the ending or anything, but I’d give a lung to have a Republican politician give a speech like that in this country.

First, he defined the role of government: basic security. In a world full of risks, government can help furnish a secure base from which people can work, dream and rise.

Cameron argued that both sides in the debate over poverty suffered real limitations because they still used 20th-century thinking. The left has traditionally wanted to use the state to redistribute money downward. The right has traditionally relied on the market to generate the growth that lifts all boats.

The welfare state and the market are important, but, he argues, “talk to a single mum on a poverty-stricken estate, someone who suffers from chronic depression, someone who perhaps drinks all day to numb the pain of the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. Tell her that because her benefits have risen by a couple of pounds a week, she and her children have been magically lifted out of poverty. Or on the other hand, if you told her about the great opportunities created by our market economy, I expect she’ll ask you what planet you’re actually on.”

Cameron called for a more social approach. He believes government can play a role in rebuilding social capital and in healing some of the traumas fueled by scarcity and family breakdown.

He laid out a broad agenda: Strengthen family bonds with shared parental leave and a tax code that rewards marriage. Widen opportunities for free marital counseling. Speed up the adoption process. Create a voucher program for parenting classes. Expand the Troubled Families program by 400,000 slots. This program spends 4,000 pounds (about $5,700) per family over three years and uses family coaches to help heal the most disrupted households.

Cameron would also create “character modules” for schools, so that there are intentional programs that teach resilience, curiosity, honesty and service. He would expand the National Citizen Service so that by 2021 60 percent of the nation’s 16-year-olds are performing national service, and meeting others from across society. He wants to create a program to recruit 25,000 mentors to work with young teenagers.

To address concentrated poverty, he would replace or revamp 100 public housing projects across the country. He would invest big sums in mental health programs and create a social impact fund to unlock millions for new drug and alcohol treatment.

It’s an agenda that covers the entire life cycle, aiming to give people the strength and social resources to stand on their own. In the U.S. we could use exactly this sort of agenda. There is an epidemic of isolation, addiction and trauma. According to an AARP survey, one-third of adults over 45 report being chronically lonely. Drug overdose deaths of people ages 45 to 64 increased 11-fold between 1990 and 2010. More than half the American births to women under 30 are outside of marriage. Poorer parents are too strained and stressed to spend as much quality time raising their kids. According to the sociologist Robert Putnam, college-educated parents spend 50 percent more “Goodnight Moon” time with their kids than less-educated parents.

Meanwhile social support systems are fraying, especially for those without a college degree. Religious affiliation is plummeting. Since 1990 the number of people who declare no religious preference has tripled. Social trust is declining. Only 18 percent of high school seniors say that most people can be trusted.

There are two natural approaches to help those who are falling behind. The first we’ll call the Bernie Sanders approach. Focus on economics. Provide people with money and jobs and their lifestyles will become more stable. Marriage rates will rise. Depression rates will drop.

The second should be the conservative approach. Focus on social norms, community bonds and a nurturing civic fabric. People need relationships and basic security before they can respond to economic incentives.

But Republicans have walked away from their traditional Burkean turf. The two leading Republican presidential candidates offer little more than nativism and demagogy.

David Cameron has offered an agenda for a nation that is coming apart. There desperately needs to be an American version.


Sunday, 15 December 2013

Pink Floyd's 'Shine on you Crazy Diamond' live acoustic cover by Mouth O...



Live acoustic cover of Pink Floyd's 'Shine on you Crazy Diamond' by Mouth On A Stick uploaded 8th December 2013 from their gig at The George and Dragon the evening before (link below). This is another live acoustic cover of one of my favourite songs by Pink Floyd 'Shine on you Crazy Diamond' performed by Mouth On A Stick (AKA Keith and Howard). Keith and Howard share the vocals - Howard is left and Keith is on the right.

From Mouth On A Stick's Lemon Rock page at http://www.lemonrock.com/mouthonastick

"Singer/bassist (Howard) and singer/guitarist (Keith) - both formerly of 80s rock band Liaison - renew their musical relationship in this energetic and fun acoustic duo. Performing a variety of hits and album tracks from the last 4 decades, the pair mix dual vocals with acoustic and bass guitar. Both talented singers, they share the lead and backing vocal duties during their diverse set of rock and pop covers.

Mouth On A Stick specialise in the eclectic. They are not your average duo - nor do they wish to be. Their set consists of a carefully chosen mix of songs from the 1950s through to the present day.

We think you will be pleasantly surprised by the song choice - from award winning pop singles like Elbow's One Day Like This and The Fear by Lily Allen to pop/rock anthems such as Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run and Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who.

There are also some obscure gems that you will undoubtedly remember but rarely hear these days. Brian Protheroe's Pinball and Dance With Me by Orleans being two such examples.

And just to keep you on your toes, there are a few classic album tracks like Fleetwood Mac's The Chain, from their million-selling Rumours album, or Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here from the album of the same name.

So please don't be upset if you don't hear 'Brown Eyed Girl' or 'Mustang Sally' - we like to leave that to the others.

Occasional guest appearances on percussion, guitar, vocals - and sometimes even saxophone, harmonica or piano accordion (!) by some of their talented friends, bring an additional flavour and unpredictability to many gigs."

They tend to play in the Herts, Bucks, Middx areas - for their full gig line-up please see their Lemon Rock page at http://www.lemonrock.com/mouthonastic...

George and Dragon Website
http://www.ganddnorthchurch.com/

87 High St, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 3QL
Tel: 01442 864533

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Learning to Drift with L2D (Learn2Drift)

It's about time I wrote a post on my favourite drifting academy L2D. What's special about this outfit is that their academies fund their activities on the British Drift Championship circuit, so when you go to learn with them your instructor is invariably a Semi-Pro, Pro or Super-Pro qualified driver. What's more their Super Pro driver, Jamie Kenyon (AKA Jamo) won the Super Pro championship at BDC (British Drift Championship) Round 5 this year - props for that; great driver and I can vouch personally for his instructor skills too.

Here is a video from my first 'school day' experience with them at the beginning of this year.


Learn2Drift of http://learn2drift.com were recently rebranded from SSDA (Slide School Drift Academy) and they host drifting academies at Birmingham Raceways and Bovingdon Airfield where this video was shot.

As you can see from the footage it was snowing lightly but the tarmac was only slightly slushy by the time I got there for the afternoon session; weather wise, that was easier on the tyres (and pit crew!) but it was still bloody freezing. That aside it was a terrific day. Learn2Drift is comprised of a group of professional and semi-professional drifters and in amongst their school cars they have competition cars which they also let you experience on occasion. All their cars are Nissans, not new cars but they're all well maintained and loved which I can attest to because I've been following their updates on Facebook for some time. Sadly, because of the snow the cars all had to have their front and rear skirts removed so they looked slightly 'underdressed' - but somehow they still manage to look stunning to me. One of the other things that endeared me to this firm is that all their cars have names and they're all female: Silvia, Pearl, NeoPearl, NizPearl.

All of the cars are road worthy and have up to date MOTs so if you live in the M1 corridor you might actually see one of them driving around. To put how striking these cars are into perspective here is a photo of Silvia getting a ticket from Milton Keynes constabluary because someone forgot to put on her front number plate. I love the way the L2D car totally eclipses the normally dominant colours of the police car!



Anyway, enough of my ramblings - let's get down to the day itself. I arrived at 12.30 for the afternoon session which cost me £69 (which I think is very reasonable). For that you get a doughnut and figure of eight session which was long enough to learn something and I can say that as a result of the excellent coaching I received from my instructor for the day, (Christian) I got to nail the damn things! I was chuffed to bits about this. The doughnut footage in the video is of me.

After that session we navigated a course of cones (where I did two perfect doughnuts with holes in), slid around other cones and generally had a blast.

To round the afternoon off I had three passenger laps where we were mostly sideways. I so want to learn how to do that!

As for the facilities they were good too - Learn2Drift have their own modified, single decker bus called 'Bert the Bus', (they're obviously into giving their vehicles names in a big way at L2D). 'Bert' remains resident at Bovingdon Airfield and is used for pre-session briefings, hanging out between stints in the cars (and keeping warm). Learn2Drift provide light refreshments as part of their packages.

To summarise, it was a totally superb day, great instruction, stunning cars (I love the L2D colours), good facilities, enough time behind the wheel to learn something worthwhile and great staff all round.

My photos can be found at Photobucket and Flickr.



Links and contact:

Email: info@learn2drift.co.uk

Tel: 07972 276242

By post:

Learn2Drift - Slide School Drift Academy Ltd
C/O Carr brothers Ltd
Upper higham Lane
Higham Ferrers
Rushden
NN10 0SU

Learn2Drift Official Website
http://www.learn2drift.com/

Learn2Drift YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/SSDAdrift...

Learn2Drift on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/pages/SSDA-D...

Learn2Drift on Twitter
https://twitter.com/ssda_drift_team

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Rally Driving Experience with Langley Park Rally School

Hello all, I expect you all know what rallying is so I won't bore you with a background to the activity but what you might not be aware of is that there are firms in the UK that will take anyone with a UK driving license, put them behind the wheel and give them a taste of what rallying is all about for a small amount of money, (£40).

Langley Park Rally School Overview


Langley Park Rally School, based in Essex, is such a firm who cater to beginners and intermediate rally drivers by offering a range of events to suit each and I attended one of their half day, taster experiences on 9th February this year - and here is a video of my afternoon.



 Video Produced by Langley Park Rally School for Customers

The Rally Experience


The session was arranged into three parts:

1. Three laps in a rear wheel drive car.
2. Three laps in a front wheel drive car.
3. One 'white knuckle' passenger lap with a professional rally instructor.

While waiting for your next activity you can watch proceedings from outside or from the comfort of their lounge or cafe which reside in pre-fabricated, Portacabin type buildings beside the course.

By way of souvenirs and embellishments they give you a video, a certificate and a score card marked by the instructor on your rally driving ability. My scores were just above average: apparently I did slightly better in the front wheel drive which surprised me as I felt I was going a lot faster and had more fun in the rear wheel drive, (though perhaps that's because I've recently taken up drifting which is always done in RWDs).

Itinerary from Langley Park Rally School


From the Langley Park Rally School website, I quote:

"Enjoy approximately 2 1/2 hours at our venue and experience an introduction to the thrills of rallying where you will have the opportunity to drive at high speed on a loose surface in two of our fully prepared rally cars; one front wheel drive and one rear wheel drive. You will share your rally experience with other drivers on the day.

The instructor will introduce you to the key features and controls of the car and will talk you through what skills you will be taught out on the track. The bulk of the tuition is carried out in the car so you can get the most amount of time in the car. An intercom system is built in to the car to enable you to talk to the instructor as you drive.

Then, the moment you've been waiting for, driving the car on the track. The first lap will be used for you to familiarise yourself with the track. You will then have another 2 laps in this car of the 1 1/2 mile stage negotiating your way through cones and tyres at high speed. You will experience power slides and handbrake turns. After you have finished, the instructor will fill out a score sheet, rating your performance in the rally car. You will then have a break before your session of 3 laps in the second car.

Once all the driving sessions are complete, you will be strapped in to the passenger seat while the instructor gets their own back! You will experience a white knuckle ride on a "hot lap" with the instructor driving."

My Verdict


The weather was pretty awful, (as it has been all winter) and perhaps that forced them to cut down on some of the manoeuvres I was hoping to do. But this was a shame because while I had fun, I think it could have been a bit more exciting had the odd handbrake turn or power slide been thrown in, (they weren't). As it stands, it was a pleasant afternoon, sliding around in muddy conditions and I did learn a little bit more about controlling a car in snow or on very slippery roads.

As a production though, I think the hosts went above and beyond the call of duty to make the day a memorable one for their customers and with regards to the overall 'experience', amenities and souvenirs it was a top notch event. The video above was one such souvenir which was available for a nominal sum, (I think it was an extra £20). It was produced entirely by Langley Park Rally School and I think they've really nailed how to produce a high quality rendition of the day that customers will want to keep and share as I'm doing now, (which is great publicity for them too). They've obviously hired someone competent on the production and editing which makes all the difference.

My overall impression was positive: Langley Park Rally School have the whole customer experience down to a tee, they provide great value, good amenities, have friendly staff - and obviously they score top marks for souvenirs. It might be worth going back in a few months when the weather is better.

Friday, 1 March 2013

My Toastmasters Table-Topics Journey Begins

I've written elsewhere on this blog how Table Topics for me are the hardest part of the Toastmasters curriculum.

What are Table Topics?

The Toastmasters website describes Table Topics as fairly benign things - and I quote: "Table Topics are the portion of a club meeting devoted to exercises in impromptu speaking presided over by the Table Topics Master, who calls on each Table Topics Speaker to give a short, impromptu speech. Table Topics provides you with an opportunity to practice careful listening, quickly preparing a relevant response, and expressing fluent, clear, and organised thoughts in a limited time."

How I feel about them!

That's all well and good, however I've found it's one thing to prepare a speech in advance with the opportunity to think about it at length, write and rewrite it, rehearse it any number of times - and quite another to be thrown in at the deep end and be asked to speak extemporaneously, (speaking without preparation) on a subject just given to you just a second ago for 1-2 minutes.

I don't think it would be exaggerating to say that I've always been nervous around this part of the meeting in case I was picked, (you're given no notice) and I know I'm not alone!

Documenting my Table Topics Journey

But I've decided to break the back of these things and I thought one way to do it would be to commit myself publicly to recording each one that I do and its evaluation so that I'm not tempted to shirk away from them in future. So in that spirit of sharing I thought it would be nice to document my Table Topics journey with anyone who's interested and this is the first video in the series which I posted on YouTube today.



 My first Toastmaster Table Topic Speech given on 28th February 2013

The idea hopefully is that I'll improve over time and I hope other people will chime in with ideas and suggestions in the comments below or on the video itself. I'm going to share them all, good bad and indifferent and I hope that they'll at least be entertaining. :-)

As for this one, it's not too difficult to see where I could have made some improvements - my evaluator very generously didn't point them out but I'm sure you will :-) Not to head you off but I do know that I did a lot of 'umming' and some of my thoughts were not expressed as completely as I'd have liked.

Background to Toastmasters and Table Topics Sessions

For those of you familiar with Toastmasters meetings please skip to the evaluation video further down the page. For those not familiar with Toastmasters meetings I should point out a few details that you might be wondering about while you watched the video.

a) At every meeting we have a 'word of the day' and the idea is for speakers to include it logically and coherently into their speeches, prepared or otherwise. Our word for this meeting (which is attached to the lecturn just out of shot) was 'Lamprophony', which means loudness and clarity of voice. I did manage to squeeze it in as you saw :-)

b) There is a Table Topics Master who is in the video with me at the beginning and it is his/her job to choose the Table Topics for the evening and then give them to the members or guests to do at the appropriate part of the meeting.

c) Each Table Topic should last 1-2 minutes, no more, no less. Timing is a big deal in Toastmasters meetings and each meeting has a Time Keeper who can and will disqualify your speech from the best speeches of the evening competition if you go under or over time, (which is a bit inflexible in my opinion but them's the rules)!

d) Table Topics speeches do not have a title but for the sake of casual viewers it made more sense to include one so I added my own in order that people will have an idea of what I'm supposed to be talking about in advance. The title I chose for the one you've just watched is 'Crazy Gun Laws'.

Evaluation of my Table Topic Speech

There is a Table Topics Evaluator who critiques each Table Topic speech - at this meeting it was Angela Lansbury and here is a video of her evaluation of my speech.


Angela Lansbury evaluates my Table Topics Speech

Angela didn't offer any criticism or suggestions, but do you have any?

So that is the end of my first post of the series - I hope you enjoyed it and please feel free to share it. If you are not already a member of Toastmasters but are interested in joining, you should know that most groups welcome guests who can attend free of charge with or without a host for as many times as they like. And guests can participate in the Table Topics part of meetings if they wish to. My club is HOD Speakers in the Harrow/Stanmore area of Greater London in the UK where we hold meetings once a fortnight and you can click the link for more information. Our next meeting is on 14th March.
 
Venue Address: Manor House Banqueting Hall, Old Church Lane, Stanmore, HA7 2QX
Meeting Start: 7:45pm
Meeting Finish: 10:30pm

What is Toastmasters?

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organisation that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills.  If you'd like to join a Toastmasters group or are thinking of doing so feel free to write to me at any of my personal links to the right, alternatively you can contact Toastmasters directly and I've also provided their link in this paragraph.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Car Drifting Day with Drift Limits at Bovingdon Airfield

I recently attended a car drifting instruction day with a firm called Drift Limits at Bovingdon Airfield. The term 'drifting' was a new one to me and I thought it may be to others as well, so this post was written as both a basic backgrounder to the activity and a review of my day.

What is Drifting?


Drifting is a funny word as for me it conjurs up a gentle, pleasant, 'drifty' experience. In actuality, anyone who's ever lost control of the rear end of their car in a skid has drifted - and it's not normally a pleasant experience unless you happen to be Stirling Moss.

Drifting is a term that's been coined for the motorsport world where the driver intentionally loses traction of the rear wheels whilst still managing to control the car around bends and so on. These days drifting is a fully fledged sport in about the same way that dressage is to equine sports, in my opinion.

In drifting competitions it's not how fast you go around the track or about finishing first; instead points are awarded for the amount of smoke coming from the wheels, the angle of the front wheels compared to the back wheels during a slide and synchronising drifts with other cars. It's all quite showy, (see third video below) and rightly so as it's much more entertaining to watch a car hurtling around sideways with smoke bellowing from the wheels than in a straight line. It's also quite 'balletic' when you watch some of the synchronisations come together.

Drifting to that standard is pie in the sky for me - for now at least; as it was for most of the punters who were with me and my friend on Sunday. On the menu for us was instruction in performing Handbrake Turns, J-Turns, Donuts, Linking Turns and there were hot-laps around the track afterwards for those that wanted them.

Here are the photos taken by the resident photographer on the day. In the end there were too many photos to load onto Flickr so I decided to make a showreel instead and took the liberty of borrowing some music from the Kings of Leon to make it a bit more interesting. :-)



Drifting Instruction at Bovingdon

I personally feel it would've been better to have had video footage as you don't really get any real feel for the (superb ha-ha) driving from these stills. Apart from the odd puff of smoke from the wheels you wouldn't really know I was drifting. The hosts said they were working on getting the video sorted out.

The Day's Drifting Itinerary

 

First of all there was an introduction and we filled out our disclaimers then we were split into two groups and my group went off to do Handbrake Turns.

Handbrake Turns


Most of us are already familiar with what these look like from movies like the Blues Brothers where Jake and Elwood do a neat handbrake turn to park their police car outside their old bandmates restaurant, (brilliant scene!). We did them around a cone. First we drove up to the cone at 25mph in first gear and when we reached it we would simultaneously apply handbrake, drop the cluch and lock the steering wheel at 180 degrees and end up facing the other direction on the other side of the cone. It sounds really easy but it was probably the hardest part of the day for me.

J-Turns


J-Turns are when you start off by reversing quickly and whip the car round 180 degrees and take off on the same trajectory but facing it head on. They were done by building up speed to 6000 revs in reverse (this is bloody quick) and when 6000 revs has been reached, dip the clutch and lock the steering wheel at 180 degrees which makes the car spin around. When you've mastered that you learn to apply the footbrake at the last moment to stop the drift and take off in first gear, all preferably in one smooth movement. These were the best part of the day for me as I got the hang of them straight away and they also look great.

Doughnuts


These were done around a small group of cones and the idea was to drive around them with the car as sideways as possible, (there's a lovely Doughnut in the promo video below). The idea is to put a 'hole' in your Doughnut, i.e. not just keep the front wheels still while the back of the car draws circles, that's easy. Instead you apply just enough throttle to lose traction in the rear wheels, start a slide and correct as you go around - quite tricky.

Linking Turns


This is when you're navigating turns at different angles, sideways - and doing it all as smoothly as possible using just the throttle and oversteer. That's the theory anyway, the reality is there's a lot of steering correction to be done but I managed to get the car satisfyingly sideways. :-)

The cars we were driving were Mazda MX-5s - like all drifting cars they're rear wheel drive and have a nicely balanced weight ratio from the front to the back of the car to make drifting easier.

Drifting Schools


Learning how to control a car in a slide isn't a necessary skill to pass your driving test in the UK but it's par for the course in the more northerly countries where they have to deal with icy road conditions routinely. This probably goes some way to explaining why there are so many of these Nationals acting as instructors at the different drifting firms that've sprung up around the UK. If you're subscribed to Groupon or any of the other voucher sites you've probably seen these firms advertising 'drifting experiences'; which is initially how I came to hear about this firm 'Drift Limits' of http://www.driftlimits.co.uk.

Here is their short promotional video which gives you a much better idea of what drifting really looks like in action.




Drift Limits Promo Video

And this is what a drifting competition looks like, (with some nice footage from inside the car too). I found this video on Vimeo - I would love to be able to drive to this standard.



Drifting Competition Footage

Drift Limits Review


Like the other firms in their niche Drift Limits offer beginners drifting events and appear to be comprised of a group of good natured young lads who're trying to make a living from their hobby.

Bovingdon Airfield is used for a number of ventures these days, (since it ceased operating as a proper airfield): apart from the occasional light aircraft there's a market each Saturday, (a bit naff apparently) and there was an under 16's driving day going on elsewhere on the site while we were there.

The Drift Limits facility is run from a couple of Portakabins which may or may not be used for other things on other days, I don't know. I do know however that there's not a female amongst them as there is no electricity to boil a kettle, "too expensive", the refreshments, (a source of much amusement to my friend Liz) were a packet of Digestive biscuits, a family bag of Hula-Hoops, some Ribena and a big bottle of water. Budgets didn't run to a kettle but with stereo-typical male logic in force, a whole room of one Portakabin was devoted to housing a full sized pool table and nothing else. I say all this in a friendly way however as these little quirks were more charming than anything; I politely suggest they might like to pay a bit more attention to these things as they grow their business - and the loo facilities!

For most of us these experiences are a fun day out with the advantage that we might learn to control a sliding car a bit better in future; for me it's that plus I've decided to pursue it as a bit of hobby, as such I've tested out the drifting facilities at Brands Hatch (currently run by Allstars) and I'm off to Santa Pod in a few weeks to sample theirs. In my opinion Bovingdon scores over Brands driving-wise as there's more space to do more manoeuvres, (the Brands Hatch drifting school operates out of a couple of converted parking lots, albeit large ones).

To sum up my experience with Drift Limits: the instruction was good, the driving time in the cars was good too with not too much waiting around and the staff were friendly. All in all, an amazingly fun day, lovely staff, great value and I'll definitely go again.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

What's the best source for Famous Quotes?

"I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself." Marlene Dietrich

I love quotes and the reason I do is perfectly summed up by Marlene Dietrich above. 

Searching for Quotes


I spend a lot of time hunting around for quotes to help express something I’m trying to write about so I’m relatively familiar with what the web has to offer in this regard and I like to think I know some of the best resources out there; so I thought I'd write this post for anyone else who likes to use quotes for their blogpost or article.

My favourite website for quotations is probably not one you’d immediately think of - and it didn’t occur to me when I first stumbled upon it. You see a year or so ago I joined the Goodreads website (if you decide to join please do hook-up with me), which is best known as a great resource for book reviews and networking with other book readers. What you may not know is Goodreads is one of the best portals on the web for finding quotes by famous people and it’s compiled by the users of the Goodreads site – anyone can add a quote and there are thousands of them.

 

Finding the Perfect Quote


What makes it so easy to use is the way all the quotes are tagged by author and subject matter and accessible via a search engine; it’s a handy tool for anyone who writes content that they share with others: bloggers, journalists and authors who need quick access to a repository of suitable quotes for their work. To show you how easy it is to navigate here are a few images:


The Quotations landing page at Goodreads.

Some of the many tags for quotes

You don’t have to be a member to access any of the content of the website but if you subscribe (which is free) you get access to a bunch of nice features such as their Quote of the Day which gets emailed to your inbox.

 

Some of my Favourite Quotes


I couldn’t write a blog-post about quotations without including some of my own favourite ones now could I?! So here goes:

"Don't wish it was easier, wish you were better." ~ Jim Rohn

"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious." ~ Oscar Wilde

"I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right." ~ Albert Einstein

"Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't." ~ Margaret Thatcher

"I see men, sixty, seventy years old breaking their balls to stay fit! What for? When I die, I want to be sick, not healthy." ~ Daryl van Horne (Jack Nicholson) in The Witches of Eastwick

"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself." ~ Albert Einstein

"When you know what you want, and you want it bad enough, you'll find a way to get it." ~ Jim Rohn

"It never hurts for potential opponents to think you’re more than a little stupid and can hardly count all the money in your hip pocket, much less hold on to it." ~ Amarillo Slim

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right." ~ Henry Ford

"Belief is the death of intelligence." ~ Robert Anton Wilson

"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose." ~ Ayrton Senna

"Change your thoughts and you change your world." ~ Norman Vincent Peale

"I spent all my money on women, drink and fast cars and wasted the rest." ~ George Best

"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea life is serious." ~ Brendan Gill

"Success without honour is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good." ~ Joe Paterno

I hope you liked some of those. What are your favourite quotations? Do you have any favourite websites for finding new quotes? Let me know in the comments below.