In 2011 political columnist David Brooks asked readers over 70 to write and send him “‘Life Reports'—essays about their own lives and what they done poorly and well.” Maybe the most revealing of the conclusions he drew: “Lean toward risk. It’s trite, but apparently true. Many more seniors regret the risks they didn’t take than regret the ones they did.” — anonymous

Witness: The Greek word is martis, where we get the English word martyr. — anonymous

The Spanish, in their conquest of Americas, looked to Scripture to justify their imperial reign: 1 Kings 10:22-25. "For the king had a fleet of ships of Tarshish at sea with the fleet of Hiram. Once every three years the fleet of ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. The whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. Every one of them brought a present, objects of silver and gold, garments, weaponry, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year." — anonymous

War weather. A recent published in the 24 August 2011 issue of “Nature,” has statistically quantified the connection between extreme weather and violent conflict, essentially doubling the risk of civil war. Among the study’s findings is that 20% of the 250 conflicts between 1950 and 2004 were triggered by the El Niño cycle, which brings hotter, dried weather patterns, frequently causing droughts and food shortages. Solomon Hsiang, who led the research at Columbia University, New York, said: "This study shows a systematic pattern of global climate affecting conflict right now. . . . When crops fail, people may take up a gun to make a living," said Hsiang. — anonymous

The 2011 move “Season of the Witch” co-stars Nicholas Cage and Ron Pearlman as 13th century Crusaders battling the enemies of God (as determined by the Pope). Opening scenes shift the action from one battle to another, with the priest-in-charge exhorting Holy-sanctioned hordes to “strike the infidels. They are enemies of God. Let none survive!” At one point, Pearlman’s character sarcastically ask, “Do you get the feeling God has too many enemies?” To which Cage’s character responds, “Being [God’s] friends is not so easy, either!” — anonymous

As the old saying goes, when the elephants fight, the mice get trampled. — anonymous

When U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was interviewed in May 1996 on CBS 60 Minutes news program, reporter Leslie Stahl spoke this comment and question: "We have heard that a half million children have died [as a result of sanctions against Iraq]. I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" To which Albright replied: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it." — anonymous

"The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." —Then-Senator Barack Obama, Dec. 20, 2007, in response to concerns that then-President George W. Bush would strike Iran — anonymous

How much is a trillion? A million seconds is 12 days. A billion seconds is not quite 32 years. A trillion seconds is 31,688 years. — anonymous

Television announcer, during one of the January 2011 college football bowl games: “We welcome the men and women in America’s armed forces stationed in 175 countries who are watching this game via the Armed Forces Network." — anonymous