Geeky last words

Wired compiled a list of what they deem the "10 Best Geeky Last Words." Here are my favorites:
How were the circus receipts today at Madison Square Garden?
–P. T. Barnum

Try LSD, 100 mm intramuscular.
–Aldous Huxley


  1. I’d believed A. Huxley [who died the day I was born, hence my interest] went on to bow out with “I thought so” some time after receiving the impossibly large dose.

    Always found that story inspirational, myself…

  2. You can’t measure LSD in millimeters. I was pretty sure his note read “100 micrograms.”

  3. From one of the linked pages:

    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-74), British poet, playwright and novelist, was asked “Is your mind at ease?” He replied, “No, it is not,” and died.

  4. The source article contains an error. He asked for 100 μg (micrograms) not 100 mm (millimeters), which is a) an awful lot, depending on the diameter of the syringe and b) a pretty strange way to measure LSD.

    Not being a drug user or terribly familiar with the uses of LSD, I don’t know: is 100 μg a large dose?

  5. #2 & 5: Huxley couldn’t speak at the end so his last words were actually written down (hence the incorrect “mm”. That’s what he wrote.) The dose he asked for was pretty much the standard dose for the time, not much more than you’d get in your average hit. The effect of the drug isn’t enhanced or expedited by injection.

    When Albert Hoffman (the chemist who first synthesized LSD) took it for the first time, he ingested 250mcg.

  6. “either that wallpaper goes or I do”
    – Oscar Wilde

    “the milk shakes in this place are terrible”

    – Lou Costello

    “i should have had the pickle”

    – Preston Sturges

  7. Overheard this at a party:
    What’s a Texan’s famous last words?
    Y’all watch this shit.

    I thought it was funny. :)

  8. One of the King Georges, having been told by his doc that a rest cure in Bognor Regis might be the thing, bowed out with “Bugger Bognor!”

  9. “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”
    —Richard Feynman

    My physics teacher in high school had us watch all of Feyman’s Cal Tech vids. Including the stuff about the Tuvan throat singers. Trippy dude.

  10. Noli turbare circulos meos

    I think that one is the most geeky last word and I thought that it was the most famous last world, but apparently I’m wrong.

    The vikings have a lot of really good and sometimes geeky last words. Two of my favorites (in my crappy translation):

    I think long spears are in fashion this year
    Forgot his name, but he was killed by a long spear.

    How the little piglets would grunt if they knew how the old boar suffered
    Ragnar Lodbrok, thrown into a snake pit (the little piglets is his children). His capturers tortured his men to reveal which one of them who was him. When they heard his last word they realised that they didn’t have anything to bargain with anymore and that they would be slaughtered by his sons (and they where, but first there was a lot of intrigues, would make a really good soap opera on TV).

  11. I posted about the famous last words by vikings. I forgot to mention that they are originally in a metric that translates poorly to languages outside Scandinavia.

    Vikings where big poetry geeks, to them it was very important to:
    (A) Die in battle (old men arrange battles against other armies, with the sole purpose of getting killed, the other combatants stopped fighting once the old man died) or (violently) by their own hand (dying of sickness or old age where for cowards).
    (B) Before they die, say something witty in poetry.

    Kind of proto-emos (except for dying in battle, and that slitting your wrist or taking pills would have been considered a cowardice death, they preferred to jump of cliffs, being mauled by bears or gut themselves, something with a big splat and a lot of suffering).

  12. “In my day,” as us Oldies say, as if we could lay claim to ownership of some day or other in the dim, distant past…

    100 micrograms was the standard dose, and it was thought that, whilst the effect increased with increasing dose, after 1000 micrograms, no further increase was noted.

    I think. Assuming that particular brain cell was left in working order.

    My favourite last words: “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do”.

    The brain cell with the speaker’s name is not in working order.

  13. The best line has to be by Pancho Villa:
    “Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.”

  14. I believe W.C. Fields last words or maybe it was his epitaph or perhaps a proposed epitaph was “All things considered, I’d rather be in Philadelphia”. Whichever it was it was a good line.
    Dylan Thomas said: “I have just had eighteen whiskeys in a row. I do believe that is a record.”

  15. William Barton Rogers (the founder of MIT) died while delivering a commencement address.

    His last words were “bituminous coal”

  16. I’m hoping mine will be worthy. So far my best choice is: “Eat hot lead, Zombie scum!” Either that or: “Oh no! Not &@#%& chickens!”

  17. “Wait a minute… ”
    – Pope Alexander VI

    “Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel.”
    – George Appel, executed by electric chair in 1928.

    “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.”
    – Union General John Sedgwick, shortly before being hit at that distance.

  18. Actually I thought Sedgwick’s last words were “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist—” but that may be apocryphal.

    Since I believe learning is the purpose of life, I hope my last words (before slipping away quietly, age 123, as my friends chant me into the Summerland) will be “Cool! I never knew that!”

    But they’ll probably be “Nonsense, it’s perfectly safe. Here, I’ll show you” or “SHIT!” or “Grab the rope! Grab the rope!”

  19. ‘begone, go! last words are for fools who have not said enough’ – marx

    ‘tell them i’ve had a wonderful life’ – wittgenstein


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