Francis Fèvre, L’apnée-glisse en monopalme

J’ai beaucoup amélioré mes performances en apnée lorsque j’étais en classe de première. Je travaillais régulièrement l’apnée statique avec un élève de première C […] Pendant le cours d’anglais, nous faisions des concours avec hyperventilation et départ au chrono.
Toutes les situations sont intéressantes pour le statique. L’activité cérébrale doit être la plus réduite possible : faire le vide et ne penser à rien. Le cours d’anglais s’y prêtait bien, c’était un cadre scolaire d’entraînement idéal, permettant des exercices d’apnée 3 fois par semaine […] On tenait l’apnée jusqu’au spasmes du diaphragme. Les syncopes ? Je n’ai jamais eu de syncope de ma vie.
“Patrimonio, come to the blackboard”. Dans cette rupture brutale de l’apnée, le visage était très rouge. Il fallait tousser pour récupérer rapidement et donner le change. Exercice à conseiller à tous les potaches.

Jean-Marie Déguinet, Mémoires d’un paysan bas-breton

1er janvier 1901
« Et les autres ouvriers, qui chôment la moitié du temps et n’ont que trente sous par jour quand ils travaillent, ont des nichées d’enfants à nourrir ; s’ils ne se réveillent pas cet hiver qui s’annonce fort dur, ils crèveront de faim assurément, pendant que les grandes fripouilles se vautrent dans la surabondance et les orgies, car c’est surtout en hiver, dans les hivers les plus rigoureux, lorsque les travailleurs grelottent de froid et crèvent de faim que ces canailles sans coeur et sans entrailles se procurent les plus grandes jouissances. Ils ont pour se garantir du froid des vêtements épais et des fourrures, des chambres claires chauffées à douze degrés ; […] »

John Sherer, Australian settler, 1850, quoted by Sarah Murgatroyd in The dig tree

There can be no walk, no journey of any kind, more monotonous than one through the bush… there is no association of the past connected with it… Imagination is at a standstill—fairly bogged, as your body may be in a mud swamp. There are no sacred graves… no birthplaces of great men. Nothing of this kind; all is deadly dull, uninspiring hard work.

(My comment) Anyone who has read The songlines from Bruce Chatwin or knows a little about aboriginal dreamtime stories can only marvel at how alien you must be to think this land is unconnected with the past, without stories to tell, and that visiting the graves and birthplaces of great men makes a journey interesting.

A.E. Van Vogt
Postface pour l’édition française de Les joueurs du non-A

[…] Si vous parvenez à vous faire une idée favorable de Huey Newton, le chef des Panthères Noires, et de son comportement dans un État sans gouvernement, vous avez une âme plus simple et plus confiante que la mienne. Huey, dit-on, se croit prêt dans l’immédiat à toute espèce de liberté. Mais, hélas, il se trahit par son attitude « noire—blanche » comme l’indique cette phrase : « …Si vous ne faites pas partie de la solution, vous faites partie du problème. » Et cela, cher lecteur, est ce que l’on appelle en sémantique une proposition « ou bien—ou ». Pour lui, pas d’échelon de la pensée. Il sait… sans aucune preuve.
Les gens qui pensent ainsi « ou bien—ou » (tu fais ça, sinon…) ont, depuis la nuit des temps, torturé leurs semblables.[…]

(My translation)[…] If you manage to get a favourable idea about Huey Newton, the leader of the Black Panthers, and about his behaviour in a State without government, you have a more simple and more trusting soul than mine. Huey, they say, believes himself to be ready immediately for any kind of liberty. But, alas, he betrays himself through his “black—white” attitude as this sentence shows : “…If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” And this, dear reader, is what you call in semantics a “either—or” proposition. For him, no echelon of thought. He knows… without any proof.
People who think this way “ either—or “ (you do this, or else…) have, since the beginning of time, tortured their fellow men and women.[…]

Unknown, quoted by Arthur C. Clarke

The best proof that there’s intelligent life in the universe is that it hasn’t come here.

Unknown (2003)

What kind of world do we live in?
The greatest rapper is white - The greatest Golf player is Black - The Swiss are holding the American Cup - The French accuse the US of arrogance and the Germans Don’t want to go to war?

Terry Pratchett
Lords and ladies

The current state of knowledge can be summarized thus : In the beginning, there was nothing, which exploded.

«I Don’t hold with paddlin’s with the occult», said Granny firmly. «Once you start paddlin’ with the occult you start believing in spirits, and when you start believing in spirits you start believing in demons, and then before you know where you are you’re believing in gods. And then you’re in trouble

David Gerrold

You live, you die, they throw dirt in your face, the worms eat you.
Be glad it happens in that order.


If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.

Quote from Mahatma Gandhi

(After September 11th 2001 attacks) A poster near my home reads :
«An eye for an eye, and soon the world is blind.»

Garrett Hardin

Does God give a prize for the maximum number of human beings?

Doris Lessing
The Golden Notebook

I dreamed marvellously. I dreamed there was an enormous web of beautiful fabric stretched out. It was incredibly beautiful, covered all over with embroidered pictures. The pictures were illustrations of the myths of mankind but they were not just pictures, they were all the myths themselves, so that the soft glistering web was alive. There were many subtle and fantastic colours, but the overall feeling this expanse of fabric gave was of redness, a sort of variegated glowing red.
In my dream I handled and felt this material and wept with joy.

Indian proverb

Life is a bridge. Cross over it, but build no house on it.

William Boyd

Serendipity. From Serendip, a former name of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. A word coined by Horace Walpole, who had invented it based on a folktale, whose heroes were always making discoveries of things they were not in quest of.
Ergo : serendipity, the faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries by accident.
So what is the opposite of Serendip, a southern land of spice and warmth, lush greenery and humming birds, sea-washed, sun-basted? Think of another world in the far north, barren, ice-bound, cold, a world of flint and stone. Call it Zembla.
Ergo : zemblanity, the opposite of serendipity, the faculty of making unhappy, unlucky and expected discoveries by design.
Serendipity and zemblanity : the twin poles of the axis around which we revolve.

John Brunner
Stand on Zanzibar

Without being totally stupid, we do display a tremendous aptitude for it.
You: Beast by Chad C. Mulligan

Old Irish Saying

If you want to know what God thinks about money, just look at the people He gives it to.

Kim Stanley Robinson
The Martians

«Technology is the knack of so arranging the world that we Don’t have to experience it.»
Sax read this in one in the feral rhapsodies, and went outdoors for a walk.

Orson Scott Card
Children of the mind

Changing the world is good for those who want their names in books.
But being happy, that is for those who write their names in the lives of others, and hold the hearts of others as the treasure most dear.

David Lodge
The picturegoers

[…] going to church was like going to the cinema : you sat in rows, the notices were like trailers, the supporting sermon was changed weekly. And people went because they always went. You paid at the plate instead of at the box-office, and sometimes they played the organ.
There was only one big difference : the main feature was always the same.

George Bernard Shaw
The Unreasonable Man

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world ;
the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.

Nerdy quotes.