Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born on this day in 1859. Here are some quotes:
# A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to need, and the rest he can put away in the lumber room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.
# As a rule, said Holmes, the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be. It is your commonplace, featureless crimes which are really puzzling, just as a commonplace face is the most difficult to identify.
# It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the more important.
# It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.
# I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. [Of course, I thoroughly disagree with both versions of this one - how else do you do science, or even write an NIH grant proposal?]
# It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
# It is my duty to warn you that it will be used against you, cried the Inspector, with the magnificent fair play of the British criminal law.
# Mediocrity does not see higher than itself. But talent instantly recognizes the genius. # No violence, gentlemen - no violence, I beg of you! Consider the furniture!
# The lowest and vilest alleys of London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.
# There comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.
# You will remember, Watson, how the dreadful business of the Abernetty family was first brought to my notice by the depth which the parsley had sunk into the butter upon a hot day.
# The most winning woman I ever knew was hanged for poisoning three little children for their insurance-money, and the most repellent man of my acquaintance is a philanthropist who has spent nearly a quarter of a million upon the London poor.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle