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Notes on Quotes: March 12, 2014

Russell Sherman  Follow

QuoteAs someone who has been in and around the media for more than 20 years, Russell Sherman has a special appreciation for what makes a good quote. You know the ones–maybe it's the perfect analogy, a witty metaphor or some well-chosen words laced with emotion. These are the quotes we look to uncover in Notes on Quotes. Have a good one?  Please share it with us on Twitter (@RussellASherman | @ProsekPR), Facebook or by via email at And now . . . a look now at five noteworthy quotes from the past week:

5. "If you have swine flu, please don't touch it."

The Ellen Degeneres-appointed "prettiest" person at the Oscars, Jared Leto, broke with protocol backstage after his big win and passed his Oscar around the press room. However, before he did he added this important caveat: "If you have swine flu, please don't touch it." Definitely a cool gesture. But with that said, I hadn't really thought about swine flu in quite a while; not sure how I feel about it making a comeback. Most of the best quotes of the evening however belonged to Degeneres, "Between all the nominees here tonight, you've done over 1,400 films and you've gone to a total of six years of college," she chided. Here are some other notable Ellen quotes from the night.

4. "The chance isn't zero that we will leave you no choice."

Now, I am not sure if the quote above is a double negative, a triple negative or just a really bad translation. It was the response from a bank official in Japan who was looking to shut down an account of Mt. Gox, which at the time was one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges. "I discussed with my lawyers and they said we don't need to close it, so we'd like to keep it," said Mark Karpelis the founder of Mt. Gox to the bank official about the account. The official then replied, "the chance isn't zero that we will leave you no choice." In the end, the quote was as confusing as Bitcoin and maybe as moot; this week Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy.

3. "We put on a clinic," says the Lakers p.r. director, "on how not to conduct a press conference."

Sports Illustrated recently ran an excerpt from Jeff Pearlman's new book called Showtime, which takes a look at the championship Lakers teams of the 1980's. Paul Westhead was the coach when the team won its first championship of that era in 1980, but a little more than a year later he butted heads with Magic Johnson and was fired by team owner Jerry Buss. On November 19, 1981 Buss held a press conference alongside Jerry West, a former star player, coach and then scout with the Lakers and Pat Riley, who was Westhead's assistant coach. The only problem was that during the press conference the three men couldn't seem to agree on who was going be the next head coach. As one reporter in attendance observed, "usually you know what you're going to announce before holding the press conference." What ensued was a topsy-turvy open discussion and debate among the three men, live and in front of the media, leading Pearlman to characterize it as "one of the strangest 50 minutes in the history of organized sports." Hence the notable quote above from Bruce Jolesch, the Lakers public relations director at the time.

2. "Honey, when I am not with you I am either a surgeon or an astronaut."

This one didn't happen in the press but it was certainly one of the better lines of the past week. My buddy Matt's wife just turned forty so she jetted off to Florida to celebrate with some of her friends. Sunday morning after a fun night out she called to give Matt an update. Wife: "We went to a great bar last night and we were the only girls there. Matt: Yea? Wife: Yea, so we started talking to a group of guys and it turns out they play in the NHL for the Washington Capitals? Matt: (skeptical) Really, they said they played in the NHL? Wife: Yea, it was great. Matt: Honey, just so you know, when I go out and you're not with me I am either an astronaut or a surgeon.

1. "We are bewildered"

For all the talk of how far we have come with air safety, this weekend's disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 239 people makes you wonder if we are not that technically advanced after all. The tragic situation unfolding in Asia continues to reveal more questions and answers and not surprisingly some emotional quotes filled with frustration, anxiety and doubt.  The above was delivered by Hishamuddin Hussein, Malaysia's acting transport minister, and he was not alone. "For now, it seems simply inexplicable," said Paul Hayes in the Wall Street Journal, director of safety and insurance at Ascend Worldwide, a British advisory and aviation data firm. "There's no leading theory," he noted, but jetliners "simply don't vanish or disintegrate" and fall out of the sky without warning, unless there is sabotage or some catastrophic structural failure. So far, investigators haven't hinted that they have firm leads on either front. It would be nice to believe that this is just a bad episode of Lost but tragically that doesn't seem very likely. Here's hoping that answers come more quickly to those who are waiting word on loved ones and some closure to this horrible event. End of Story

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