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So they say...

"I'm sure it's good for the soul. You need to know, it is really poisonous if you're protected from the critical voices out there. Your most ambitious self-image needs to know that you may still look like a complete idiot."

Rowan Williams on reading press criticism of him while he was Archbishop of Canterbury.

"Do you accept the fundamental teachings of Jesus Christ?"

Lord Reith's first question when interviewing editors for positions at the BBC, as recently revealed by Richard Lambert, the first editor of the Listener.


"I believe in the cosmos. Buddha, Christ and Mohammad just came to this world to pass along teachings ... I came to this world to help people."

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, a contender alongside Gary Kasparov for the presidency of the World Chess Federation. His aim is to get one billion members, after which, he says, 'Ministers and presidents will come from this mass, and before they issue an order they will think. Then wars will end and peace will start to come.'

"It is time for faith groups and religious institutions to find their voice and set their moral compass on one of the great humanitarian issues of our time. Overcoming poverty, caring for the sick and the infirm, feeding the hungry and a whole range of other faith-based concerns will only get harder in a climate challenged world."

The UN's climate chief., Christiana Figueres.

"If tomorrow an expedition of Martians arrives, and some of them came to us, here ... Martians, right? Green, with the long noses and big ears, just like children paint them ... and one says, 'But I want to be baptized!' What would happen?"

Pope Francis. His answer, he said, would be to grant them a baptism because the church should not close its doors to anyone.

"When you do something a lot, you get good at it. I think Texas probably does it as well as Iran."

The veteran death-row lawyer David Dow of Houston, on Texas' proficiency in carrying out executions.


"Our findings suggest it's common for people to see non-existent features because human brains are uniquely wired to recognise faces."

Professor Kang Lee from the University of Toronto, explaining the popular phenomenon of 'pareidolia', whereby people find the face of Jesus in a piece of toast, the moon's surface or a cat's bottom.