Bill Bryson Quotes That Will Make You Scratch Your Head

These are all from Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything".
  1. "It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you."
  2. "You may not feel outstandingly robust, but if you are an average-sized adult you will contain within your modest frame no less than 7 X 10^18 joules of potential energy—enough to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point."
  3. "When you sit in a chair, you are not actually sitting there, but levitating above it at a height of one angstrom (a hundred millionth of a centimetre), your electrons and its electrons implacably opposed to any closer intimacy."
  4. "We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms-- up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested-- probably once belonged to Shakespeare."
  5. "Tune your television to any channel it doesn't receive, and about 1 percent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by this ancient remnant of the Big Bang. The next time you complain that there is nothing on, remember that you can always watch the birth of the universe."
  6. "Brain cells last as long as you do. You are issued with a hundred billion or so at birth and that is all you are ever going to get. It has been estimated that you lose five hundred of them an hour, so if you have any serious thinking to do there really isn’t a moment to waste."
  7. "The average distance between any two of these civilizations is reckoned to be at least two hundred light-years (...) It means for a start that even if these beings know we are here and are somehow able to see us in their telescopes, they're watching light that left Earth two hundred years ago. (...) They're watching the French Revolution"