The home page of Niel Malan
Who I am:
Read on and find out!
What I do:
I am a scientist. I make measurements and ensure its quality.
Why this home page?
- To get some experience in HTML, CSS and maybe some scripting later
- To tell people about things I like.
Where I live:
In Bronkhorstspruit, on the eastern side of Gauteng province, in South Africa.
My favourite quotes and most-hated misquotes:
Sometimes someone can say a very meaningful thing in a very few words. I have here a list of some of my favourite quotations.
Om te meet is om te weet
Learning is a peculiar compound of memory, imagination, scientific habit, accurate observation, all concentrated, through a prolonged period, on the analysis of the remains of literature. The result of this sustained mental endeavour is not a book, but a man.
- Mark Pattison
A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history, with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
- Mitch Ratcliffe, Technology Review, April 1992
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
- Robert A. Heinlein
The glance has been so much abused in love romances that it has finally fallen into disrepute. One hardly dares to say, nowadays, that two beings fell in love because they looked at each other. That is the way people do fall in love, nevertheless, and the only way. The rest is nothing, but the rest comes afterwards. Nothing is more real than these great shocks which two souls convey to each other by the exchange of that spark.
- Vicor Hugo, Les Miserables, Book IV Chapter VI.
Triviality and certainty are the kinderkrankheiten of knowledge.
- Imre Lakatos
Science is a rational approach to existence, and its true practitioners are, for lack of better words, on the right track. However, to unconditionally bestow respect on scientists is like emptying your wallet for each street musician. And to bestow respect on an agency that funds scientists is like giving your wallet to a bus driver with instructions to give it to a street musician.
- Big Dead Place
As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life — so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so that you can meet girls.
- Matt Cartmill - Professor of Biology, Duke University
Sometimes people are quoted on things they never said. Here's some groundless quotes and misquotes, debunked in this USA Today article:
This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.
- William Orton, president of Western Union, in 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell tried to sell the company his invention.
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
-Charles Duell, U.S. Patent Commissioner, 1899.
Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?
- Harry Warner, Warner Bros., as movies with sound made their debut in 1927.
I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
- Thomas Watson, builder of IBM, 1943.
There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.
- Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment, in 1977.
640K ought to be enough for anybody.
- Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder, 1981.
About these pages:
Hand-crafted HTML and CSS, using the editor at hand, including vi, TextPad, Notepad and MS Word. Portions of the HTML was cleaned up with HTML Tidy by Dave Ragett. This is a nifty tool that tells you where your HTML is non-standard, corrects it, and gives you pretty-printed source!
StrangeBanana helped create this site
I'd like to have all my pages with a consistent style, but these pages were made at different times for different reasons, so there is considerable variation. I've tried to keep the navigation consistent.
Last updated: 21 January 2016