Honore de Balzac - Alfred North Whitehead - V S Ramachandran - Ivan Goncharov - Vanna Bonta - Norman Vincent Peale - Bob Marley - Franz Kafka - Napoleon Bonaparte - Douglas Adams - George Bernard Shaw - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - Virgil - Thomas Arnold - H G Wells - Lin Yutang - Horizon TV - The UnXplained with William Shatner TV -
Man is neither good nor bad; he is born with instincts and abilities. Honore de Balzac, 1799-1850, French novelist
Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended. Alfred North Whitehead, Dialogues, 1954
How can a three-pound mass of jelly that you can hold in your palm imagine angels, contemplate the meaning of infinity, and even question its own place in the cosmos? Especially awe inspiring is the fact that any single brain, including yours, is made up of atoms that were forged in the hearts of countless, far-flung stars billions of years ago. These particles drifted for eons and light-years until gravity and change brought them together here, now. These atoms now form a conglomerate – your brain – that can not only ponder the very stars that gave it birth but can also think about its own ability to think and wonder about its own ability to wonder. With the arrival of humans, it has been said, the universe has suddenly become conscious of itself. This, truly, it the greatest mystery of all. V S Ramachandran, The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest For What Makes Us Human
You lost your ability for doing things in childhood … It all began with your inability to put on your socks and ended by your inability to live. Ivan Goncharov, 1812-91
Looking up and out, how can we not respect this ever-vigilant cognizance that distinguishes us: the capability to envision, to dream, and to invent? The ability to ponder ourselves? And be aware of our existence on the outer arm of a spiral galaxy in an immeasurable ocean of stars? Cognizance is our crest. Vanna Bonta
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. Norman Vincent Peale
The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively. Bob Marley
Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. Franz Kafka
Ability is nothing without opportunity. Napoleon Bonaparte
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. Douglas Adams
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. George Bernard Shaw
People are so constituted that everybody would rather undertake what they see others do, whether they have an aptitude for it or not. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
They are able who think they are able. Virgil
The difference between one man and another is not mere ability ... it is energy. Thomas Arnold
Sometimes it is more important to discover what we cannot do, than what we can. Lin Yutang
Cooked food lights up all our senses. The smell, the sight, the touch and of course the taste are amongst the great pleasures of existence. Horizon: Did Cooking Make Us Human? BBC 2010
Could cooking really have caused us to evolve? ibid.
The human ability to cook gives us a massive advantage over all other animals. ibid.
Dogs that can detect deadly diseases; birds that can escape disasters days before they can occur; and horses that actually have the ability to read our minds … Some of them have abilities that make us seem primitive by comparison. The UnXplained with William Shatner s1e16, History 2021
The ability to survive in freezing temperatures through sheer force of will. Ancient traditions that protect the body from pain. And extraordinary adventurers who risk their lives to defy the limits. How are certain individuals able to perform incredible physical feats of strength, speed stamina? The UnXplained with William Shatner s3e15: Superhuman Feats
In May 2012 he [Tom Sietas] also held his breath for an astonishing 22 minutes. ibid.