Category Archives: Quotes

As every second post on this site is a quote. You’ll find a deep and broad variety of quotes under this category, which overlap with several other tags and categories. Many of the quotes are larded with links for deeper reading on the subject of the quote, or connections between the subject of the quotes and other people, things, or ideas. See the Taxonomies page for more about this category.

Luis Walter Alvarez

“Luis Walter Alvarez: (1911-1988) U.S. experimental physicist. Born in San Francisco, he joined the faculty of UC-Berkeley in 1936, where he would remain until 1978. In 1938 he discovered that some radioactive elements decay when an orbital electron merges with the atom’s nucleus, producing an element with an atomic number smaller by 1, a form of beta decay. In 1939 he and Felix Bloch (1905-1983) made the first measurement of the magnetic movement of the neutron. During World War II he developed a radar guidance system for landing aircraft and participated in the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb. He later helped construct the first proton linear accelerator and constructed the first liquid hydrogen bubble chamber. With his son, the geologist Walter Alvarez (b. 1940), he helped develop the theory that links the dinosaur’s extinction with a giant asteroid or comet impact. For work that included the discovery of many subatomic particles, he received a Nobel Prize in 1968.”

Excerpted/Adapted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Bartolome de Las Casas

“Bartolome de Las Casas: (1474-1566) Spanish-born Dominican missionary and historian. Las Casas came to Santo Domingo in 1502 and was the first priest ordained in the New World (1510). In 1514, Las Casas suddenly became aware of the injustice with which the Indians were being treated in America, and subsequently devoted himself entirely to promoting their welfare, usually with the support of the crown, but against the bitter opposition of the Spanish settlers. Brevisma relacion de la destruccion de las Indias (1522), his vivid, but probably exaggerated, account of the Indian sufferings, was instrumental in fostering the long-lived ‘black legend’ which denigrated the colonial policies of Spain in America. His major work, Historia general de las Indias (1875), is an important source for the early period of colonization in Latin America.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Mateo Aleman

“Mateo Aleman: (1547-1614?) Spanish novelist. Descended from Jews who had been forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism, he expressed many aspects of the experiences and feelings of the new Christians in 16th-century Spain. His most important literary work is Guzman de Alfarache (1599, 1604), one of the earliest picaresque novels, which brought fame throughout Europe, but little profit.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Pablo Picasso on Computers

[Of computers:] “They are useless. They can only give you answers.”

Pablo Picasso, quoted in William Fifeld, In Search of Genius (1982)

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Tomas Gutierrez Alea

“Tomas Gutierrez Alea: (1928-1996) Cuban film director. After earning a law degree in Cuba, he studied filmmaking in Rome (1951-53). A supporter of Fidel Castro, he helped develop Cuba’s film industry after 1959 and made the Communist regime’s first official feature film, Stories of the Revolution (1960). Later he worked within the restrictions of the regime to satirize and explore various aspects of life in postrevolutionary Cuba in such internationally acclaimed films as Death of a Bureaucrat (1966), Memories of Underdevelopment (1968), The Survivors (1978), and Strawberry and Chocolate (1993). He is regarded as the finest director Cuba has produced.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Zemi

“Zemi: A divinity worshipped by the Arawaks of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Jamaica. Zemis are human or animal in form, and are found on a variety of objects of stone, wood, and shell. Ceremonial centers, ball-courts and caves are associated with the cult, which may have reached the island from Mesoamerica.”

Excerpted from: Bray, Warwick, and David Trump. The Penguin Dictionary of Archaeology. New York: Penguin, 1984.

Cultural Literacy: Mayas

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Mayas. This is a half-page worksheet with two compound sentences and four comprehension questions. Depending on the learners you serve, this document could function as a do-now exercise to begin a class or independent practice to send home.

Or, you can do what you want with it: the worksheet is formatted in Microsoft Word, so it is open source and therefore available (as is just about everything on this blog) to do with as you need or want.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Andes

“Andes: Mountain system, western South America. One of the great natural features of the globe, the Andes extend north-south about 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers). They run parallel to the Caribbean coast in Venezuela before turning southwest and entering Colombia. There they form three distinct massifs: the Cordilleras Oriental, Central, and Occidental. In Ecuador they form two parallel cordilleras, one facing the Pacific and the other descending toward the Amazon basin. These ranges continue southward into Peru; the highest Peruvian peak is Mt. Huascaran, at 22,205 feet (6,768 meters), in the Cordillera Blanca. In Bolivia, the Andes again form two distinct regions; between them lies the Altiplano. Along the Chile-Argentina border they form a complex chain that includes their highest peak, Mt. Aconcagua. In southern Chile part of the cordillera descends beneath the sea, forming innumerable islands. The Andes are studded with numerous volcanoes that form part of the Ring of Fire. They also are the source of many rivers, including the Orinoco, Amazon, and Pilcomayo.”

Excerpted/Adapted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Book of Answers: Baruch Spinoza

“What was Spinoza’s nationality? Philosopher Baruch (or Benedict) Spinoza (1632-1677) was born in Amsterdam of Portuguese Jewish parents.”

Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.

Cultural Literacy: Havana

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Havana. This is a half-page worksheet with a reading of two compound sentences and three comprehension questions. And let me say, I have to hand it to the editors of The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy for packing as much information about the capital of Cuba as they did into the two sentences that drive this document.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.