Quotes from Nightfall

Isaac Asimov ·  339 pages

Rating: (24.3K votes)


“Life would be impossible on such a planet. It wouldn't get enough heat and light, and if it rotated there would be total darkness half of every day. There wouldn't be any native inhabitants. You couldn't expect life---which is fundamentally dependent on light---to develop under such extreme conditions of light deprivation. Half of every axial rotation spent in Darkness! No, nothing could exist under conditions like that.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Nightfall


“It was a long time since he'd done any actual clinical work, and obviously his sojourn among the academics at Saro University had attenuated the professional detachment that allows members of the healing arts to confront the ill without being overwhelmed by compassion and sorrow. He was surprised at that, how tenderhearted he seemed to have become, how thin-skinned.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Nightfall


“It's one thing to predict [the complete breakdown of civilization]. It's something else again to be right in the middle of it. It's a very humbling thing...for an academic like me to find his abstract theories turning into concrete reality... It was all just so many words to me, really, just a philosophical exercise, completely abstract.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Nightfall


“[The theory of universal gravitation] is not cast-iron. No theory is, and there is always room for improvement. Isn't that so? Science is constructed out of approximations that gradually approach the truth. . . Well, that means all theories are subject to constant testing and modification, doesn't it? And if it eventually turns out that they're not quite close enough to the truth, they need to be replaced by something that's closer. Right?”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Nightfall


“So the universe is not quite as you thought it was. You’d better rearrange your beliefs, then. Because you certainly can’t rearrange the universe.”
― Isaac Asimov, quote from Nightfall



About the author

Isaac Asimov
Born place: in Petrovichi, Russian Federation
Born date January 2, 1920
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“Ireland, like Ukraine, is a largely rural country which suffers from its proximity to a more powerful industrialised neighbour. Ireland’s contribution to the history of tractors is the genius engineer Harry Ferguson, who was born in 1884, near Belfast.
Ferguson was a clever and mischievous man, who also had a passion for aviation. It is said that he was the first man in Great Britain to build and fly his own aircraft in 1909. But he soon came to believe that improving efficiency of food production would be his unique service to mankind. Harry Ferguson’s first two-furrow plough was attached to the chassis of the Ford Model T car converted into a tractor, aptly named Eros. This plough was mounted on the rear of the tractor, and through ingenious use of balance springs it could be raised or lowered by the driver using a lever beside his seat. Ford, meanwhile, was developing its own tractors. The Ferguson design was more advanced, and made use of hydraulic linkage, but Ferguson knew that despite his engineering genius, he could not achieve his dream on his own. He needed a larger company to produce his design. So he made an informal agreement with Henry Ford, sealed only by a handshake. This Ford-Ferguson partnership gave to the world a new type of Fordson tractor far superior to any that had been known before, and the precursor of all modern-type tractors. However, this agreement by a handshake collapsed in 1947 when Henry Ford II took over the empire of his father, and started to produce a new Ford 8N tractor, using the Ferguson system. Ferguson’s open and cheerful nature was no match for the ruthless mentality of the American businessman. The matter was decided in court in 1951. Ferguson claimed $240 million, but was awarded only $9.25 million. Undaunted in spirit, Ferguson had a new idea. He approached the Standard Motor Company at Coventry with a plan, to adapt the Vanguard car for use as tractor. But this design had to be modified, because petrol was still rationed in the post-war period. The biggest challenge for Ferguson was the move from petrol-driven to diesel-driven engines and his success gave rise to the famous TE-20, of which more than half a million were built in the UK. Ferguson will be remembered for bringing together two great engineering stories of our time, the tractor and the family car, agriculture and transport, both of which have contributed so richly to the well-being of mankind.”
― Marina Lewycka, quote from A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian


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― Maggie O'Farrell, quote from The Hand That First Held Mine


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