David Hume, (born May 7 [April 26, Old Style], 1711, Edinburgh, Scotland—died August 25, 1776, Edinburgh), Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist known especially for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism.

Hume conceived of philosophy as the inductive, experimental science of human nature. Taking the scientific method of the English physicist Sir Isaac Newton as his model and building on the epistemology of the English philosopher John Locke, Hume tried to describe how the mind works in acquiring what is called knowledge. He concluded that no theory of reality is possible; there can be no knowledge of anything beyond experience. Despite the enduring impact of his theory of knowledge, Hume seems to have considered himself chiefly as a moralist.

Early life and works

Hume was the younger son of Joseph Hume, the modestly circumstanced laird, or lord, of Ninewells, a small estate adjoining the village of Chirnside, about nine miles distant from Berwick-upon-Tweed on the Scottish side of the border. David’s mother, Catherine, a daughter of Sir David Falconer, president of the Scottish court of session, was in Edinburgh when he was born. In his third year his father died. He entered Edinburgh University when he was about 12 years old and left it at 14 or 15, as was then usual. Pressed a little later to study law (in the family tradition on both sides), he found it distasteful and instead read voraciously in the wider sphere of letters. Because of the intensity and excitement of his intellectual discovery, he had a nervous breakdown in 1729, from which it took him a few years to recover.

In 1734, after trying his hand in a merchant’s office in Bristol, he came to the turning point of his life and retired to France for three years. Most of this time he spent at La Flèche on the Loire, in the old Anjou, studying and writing A Treatise of Human Nature. The Treatise was Hume’s attempt to formulate a full-fledged philosophical system. It is divided into three books: Book I, “Of the Understanding,” discusses, in order, the origin of ideas; the ideas of space and time; knowledge and probability, including the nature of causality; and the skeptical implications of those theories. Book II, “Of the Passions,” describes an elaborate psychological machinery to explain the affective, or emotional, order in humans and assigns a subordinate role to reason in this mechanism. Book III, on morals, characterizes moral goodness in terms of “feelings” of approval or disapproval that people have when they consider human behaviour in the light of agreeable or disagreeable consequences, either to themselves or to others.

Although the Treatise is Hume’s most thorough exposition of his thought, at the end of his life he vehemently repudiated it as juvenile, avowing that only his later writings presented his considered views. The Treatise is not well constructed, in parts oversubtle, confusing because of ambiguity in important terms (especially “reason”), and marred by willful extravagance of statement and rather theatrical personal avowals. For those reasons his mature condemnation of it was perhaps not entirely misplaced. Book I, nevertheless, has been more read among academic philosophers than any other of his writings.

Returning to England in 1737, he set about publishing the Treatise. Books I and II were published in two volumes in 1739; Book III appeared the following year. The poor reception of this, his first and very ambitious work, depressed him; he later said, in his Autobiography, that “it fell dead-born from the press, without reaching such distinction, as even to excite a murmur among the zealots.” But his next venture, Essays, Moral and Political (1741–42), won some success. Perhaps encouraged by this, he became a candidate for the chair of moral philosophy at Edinburgh in 1744. Objectors alleged heresy and even atheism, pointing to the Treatise as evidence (Hume’s Autobiography notwithstanding, the work had not gone unnoticed). Unsuccessful, Hume left the city, where he had been living since 1740, and began a period of wandering: a sorry year near St. Albans as tutor to the mad marquess of Annandale (1745–46); a few months as secretary to Gen. James St. Clair (a member of a prominent Scottish family), with whom he saw military action during an abortive expedition to Brittany (1746); a little tarrying in London and at Ninewells; and then some further months with General St. Clair on an embassy to the courts of Vienna and Turin (1748–49).

Mature Works

During his years of wandering Hume was earning the money that he needed to gain leisure for his studies. Some fruits of those studies had already appeared before the end of his travels, viz., a further Three Essays, Moral and Political (1748) and Philosophical Essays Concerning Human Understanding (1748). The latter is a rewriting of Book I of the Treatise (with the addition of his essay “On Miracles,” which became notorious for its denial that a miracle can be proved by any amount or kind of evidence); it is better known as An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, the title Hume gave to it in a revision of 1758. The Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751) was a rewriting of Book III of the Treatise. It was in those later works that Hume expressed his mature thought.

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is an attempt to define the principles of human knowledge. It poses in logical form significant questions about the nature of reasoning in regard to matters of fact and experience, and it answers them by recourse to the principle of association. The basis of Hume’s exposition is a twofold classification of objects of awareness. In the first place, all such objects are either “impressions,” data of sensation or of internal consciousness, or “ideas,” derived from such data by compounding, transposing, augmenting, or diminishing. That is to say, the mind does not create any ideas but derives them from impressions. From this Hume develops a theory of linguistic meaning. A word that does not stand directly for an impression has meaning only if it brings before the mind an object that can be gathered from an impression by one of the mental processes just mentioned. In the second place, there are two approaches to construing meaning: an analytical one, which concentrates on the “relations of ideas,” and an empirical one, which focuses on “matters of fact.” Ideas can be held before the mind simply as meanings, and their logical relations to one another can then be detected by rational inspection. The idea of a plane triangle, for example, entails the equality of its internal angles to two right angles, and the idea of motion entails the ideas of space and time, irrespective of whether there really are such things as triangles and motion. Only on that level of mere meanings, Hume asserts, is there room for demonstrative knowledge. Matters of fact, on the other hand, come before the mind merely as they are, revealing no logical relations; their properties and connections must be accepted as they are given. That primroses are yellow, that lead is heavy, and that fire burns things are facts, each shut up in itself, logically barren. Each, so far as reason is concerned, could be different: the contradictory of every matter of fact is conceivable. Therefore, there can be no logically demonstrative science of fact.

From this basis Hume develops his doctrine about causality. The idea of causality is alleged to assert a “necessary connexion” among matters of fact. From what impression, then, is it derived? Hume states that no causal relation among the data of the senses can be observed, for, when people regard any events as causally connected, all that they do and can observe is that they frequently and uniformly go together. In this sort of togetherness it is a fact that the impression or idea of the one event brings with it the idea of the other. A habitual association is set up in the mind; and, as in other forms of habit, so in this one, the working of the association is felt as compulsion. This feeling, Hume concludes, is the only discoverable impressional source of the idea of causality.


Hume then considers the process of causal inference, and in so doing he introduces the concept of belief. When people see a glass fall, they not only think of its breaking but expect and believe that it will break. Or, starting from an effect, when they see the ground to be generally wet, they not only think of rain but believe that there has been rain. Thus belief is a significant component in the process of causal inference. Hume then proceeds to investigate the nature of belief, claiming that he was the first to do so. He uses the term, however, in the narrow sense of belief regarding matters of fact. He defines belief as a sort of liveliness or vividness that accompanies the perception of an idea. A belief, in other words, is a vivid or lively idea. This vividness is originally possessed by some of the objects of awareness—by impressions and by the simple memory-images of them. By association it comes to belong to certain ideas as well. In the process of causal inference, then, an observer passes from an impression to an idea regularly associated with it. In the process the aspect of liveliness proper to the impression infects the idea, Hume asserts. And it is this aspect of liveliness that Hume defines as the essence of belief.

Hume does not claim to prove that events themselves are not causally related or that they will not be related in the future in the same ways as they were in the past. Indeed, he firmly believes the contrary and insists that everybody else does as well. Belief in causality and in the resemblance of the future to the past are natural beliefs, inextinguishable propensities of human nature (madness apart), and even necessary for human survival. Rather, what Hume claims to prove is that such natural beliefs are not obtained from, and cannot be demonstrated by, either empirical observation or reason, whether intuitive or inferential. Although reflection shows that there is no evidence for them, it also shows that humans are bound to have them and that it is sensible and sane to do so. This is Hume’s skepticism: it is an affirmation of that tension, a denial not of belief but of certainty.

Morals and historical writing

The Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals is a refinement of Hume’s thinking on morality, in which he views sympathy as the fact of human nature lying at the basis of all social life and personal happiness. Defining morality as those qualities that are approved (1) in whomsoever they happen to be and (2) by virtually everybody, he sets himself to discover the broadest grounds of the approvals. He finds them, as he found the grounds of belief, in “feelings,” not in “knowings.” Moral decisions are grounded in moral sentiment. Qualities are valued either for their utility or for their agreeableness, in each case either to their owners or to others. Hume’s moral system aims at the happiness of others (without any such formula as “the greatest happiness of the greatest number”) and at the happiness of self. But regard for others accounts for the greater part of morality. His emphasis is on altruism: the moral sentiments that he claims to find in human beings, he traces, for the most part, to a sentiment for and a sympathy with one’s fellows. It is human nature, he holds, to laugh with the laughing and to grieve with the grieved and to seek the good of others as well as one’s own. Two years after the Enquiry was published, Hume confessed, “I have a partiality for that work”; and at the end of his life he judged it “of all my writings incomparably the best.” Such statements, along with other indications in his later writings, make it possible to suspect that he regarded his moral doctrine as his major work. He here writes as a man having the same commitment to duty as his fellows. The traditional view that he was a detached scoffer is deeply wrong: he was skeptical not of morality but of much theorizing about it.

Following the publication of these works, Hume spent several years (1751–63) in Edinburgh, with two breaks in London. An attempt was made to get him appointed as successor to Adam Smith, the Scottish economist (later to be his close friend), in the chair of logic at Glasgow, but the rumour of atheism prevailed again. In 1752, however, Hume was made keeper of the Advocates’ Library at Edinburgh. There, “master of 30,000 volumes,” he could indulge a desire of some years to turn to historical writing. His History of England, extending from Caesar’s invasion to 1688, came out in six quarto volumes between 1754 and 1762, preceded by Political Discourses (1752). His recent writings had begun to make him known, but these two brought him fame, abroad as well as at home. He also wrote Four Dissertations (1757), which he regarded as a trifle, although it included a rewriting of Book II of the Treatise (completing his purged restatement of this work) and a brilliant study of “the natural history of religion.” In 1762 James Boswell, the biographer of Samuel Johnson, called Hume “the greatest writer in Britain,” and the Roman Catholic Church, in 1761, recognized his philosophical and literary contributions by putting all his writings on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, its list of forbidden books.

The most colourful episode of his life ensued: in 1763 he left England to become secretary to the British embassy in Paris under the Earl of Hertford. The society of Paris accepted him, despite his ungainly figure and gauche manner. He was honoured as eminent in breadth of learning, in acuteness of thought, and in elegance of pen and was taken to heart for his simple goodness and cheerfulness. The salons threw open their doors to him, and he was warmly welcomed by all. For four months in 1765 he acted as chargé d’affaires at the embassy. When he returned to London at the beginning of 1766 (to become, a year later, undersecretary of state), he brought Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the Swiss-born philosopher connected with the Encyclopédie of Denis Diderot and d’Alembert, with him and found him a refuge from persecution in a country house at Wootton in Staffordshire. This tormented genius suspected a plot, took secret flight back to France, and spread a report of Hume’s bad faith. Hume was partly stung and partly persuaded into publishing the relevant correspondence between them with a connecting narrative (A Concise and Genuine Account of the Dispute Between Mr. Hume and Mr. Rousseau, 1766).

In 1769, somewhat tired of public life and of England too, he again established a residence in his beloved Edinburgh, deeply enjoying the company—at once intellectual and convivial—of friends old and new (he never married), as well as revising the text of his writings. He issued five further editions of his History between 1762 and 1773 as well as eight editions of his collected writings (omitting the Treatise, History, and ephemera) under the title Essays and Treatises between 1753 and 1772, besides preparing the final edition of this collection, which appeared posthumously (1777), and Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, in which he refuted the cosmological and teleological arguments for the existence of God (held back under pressure from friends, it was published posthumously in 1779). His curiously detached autobiography, The Life of David Hume, Esquire, Written by Himself (1777; the title is his own), is dated April 18, 1776. He died in his Edinburgh house after a long illness and was buried on Calton Hill.

Adam Smith, his literary executor, added to the Life a letter that concludes with his judgment on his friend as “approaching as nearly to the idea of a perfectly wise and virtuous man as perhaps the nature of human frailty will permit.” His distinguished friends, with ministers of religion among them, certainly admired and loved him, and there were younger men indebted either to his influence or to his pocket. The mob had heard only that he was an atheist and simply wondered how such an ogre would manage his dying. Yet Boswell has recounted, in a passage in his Private Papers, that, when he visited Hume in his last illness, the philosopher put up a lively, cheerful defense of his disbelief in immortality.

Significance And Influence

That Hume was one of the major figures of his century can hardly be doubted. So his contemporaries thought, and his achievement, as seen in historical perspective, confirms that judgment, though with a shift of emphasis. Some of the reasons for the assessment may be given under four heads:

As a writer

Hume’s style was praised in his lifetime and has often been praised since. It exemplifies the classical standards of his day. It lacks individuality and colour, for he was always proudly on guard against his emotions. The touch is light, except on slight subjects, where it is rather heavy. Yet in his philosophical works he gives an unsought pleasure. Here his detachment, levelness (all on one plane), smoothness, and daylight clearness are proper merits. It is as one of the best writers of scientific prose in English that he stands in the history of style.

As a historian

Between his death and 1894, there were at least 50 editions of his History; and an abridgment, The Student’s Hume (1859; often reprinted), remained in common use for 50 years. Although now outdated, Hume’s History must be regarded as an event of cultural importance. In its own day, moreover, it was an innovation, soaring high above its very few predecessors. It was fuller and set a higher standard of impartiality. His History of England not only traced the deeds of kings and statesmen but also displayed the intellectual interests of the educated citizens—as may be seen, for instance, in the pages on literature and science under the Commonwealth at the end of Chapter 3 and under James II at the end of Chapter 2. It was unprecedentedly readable, in structure as well as in phrasing. Persons and events were woven into causal patterns that furnished a narrative with the goals and resting points of recurrent climaxes. That was to be the plan of future history books for the general reader.

As an economist

Hume steps forward as an economist in the Political Discourses, which were incorporated in Essays and Treatises as Part II of Essays, Moral and Political. How far he influenced Adam Smith remains uncertain: they had broadly similar principles, and both had the excellent habit of illustrating and supporting these from history. He did not formulate a complete system of economic theory, as did Smith in his Wealth of Nations, but Hume introduced several of the new ideas around which the “classical economics” of the 18th century was built. His level of insight can be gathered from his main contentions: that wealth consists not of money but of commodities; that the amount of money in circulation should be kept related to the amount of goods in the market (two points made by the Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley); that a low rate of interest is a symptom not of superabundance of money but of booming trade; that no nation can go on exporting only for bullion; that each nation has special advantages of raw materials, climate, and skill, so that a free interchange of products (with some exceptions) is mutually beneficial; and that poor nations impoverish the rest just because they do not produce enough to be able to take much part in that exchange. He welcomed advance beyond an agricultural to an industrial economy as a precondition of any but the barer forms of civilization.

As a philosopher

Hume conceived of philosophy as the inductive science of human nature, and he concluded that humans are creatures more of sensitive and practical sentiment than of reason. For many philosophers and historians his importance lies in the fact that Immanuel Kant conceived his critical philosophy in direct reaction to Hume (Kant said that Hume had awakened him from his “dogmatic slumber”). Hume was one of the influences that led Auguste Comte, the 19th-century French mathematician and sociologist, to develop positivism. In Britain Hume’s positive influence is seen in Jeremy Bentham, the early 19th-century jurist and philosopher, who was moved to utilitarianism (the moral theory that right conduct should be determined by the usefulness of its consequences) by Book III of the Treatise, and more extensively in John Stuart Mill, the philosopher and economist who lived later in the 19th century.

In throwing doubt on the assumption of a necessary link between cause and effect, Hume was the first philosopher of the postmedieval world to reformulate the skepticism of the ancients. His reformulation, moreover, was carried out in a new and compelling way. Although he admired Newton, Hume’s subtle undermining of causality called in question the philosophical basis of Newton’s science as a way of looking at the world, inasmuch as that science rested on the identification of a few fundamental causal laws that govern the universe. As a result, the positivists of the 19th century were obliged to wrestle with Hume’s questioning of causality if they were to succeed in their aim of making science the central framework of human thought.

For much of the 20th century it was Hume’s naturalism rather than his skepticism that attracted attention, chiefly among analytic philosophers. Hume’s naturalism lies in his belief that philosophical justification could be rooted only in regularities of the natural world. The attraction of that contention for analytic philosophers was that it seemed to provide a solution to the problems arising from the skeptical tradition that Hume himself, in his other philosophical role, had done so much to reinvigorate.

New Jersey, constituent state of the United States of America. One of the original 13 states, it is bounded by New York to the north and northeast, the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, and Delaware and Pennsylvania to the west. The state was named for the island of Jersey in the English Channel. The capital is Trenton.

Although it has major social, economic, and political force in its own right, New Jersey is sometimes looked upon as a stepchild among the heavily industrialized and populated states along the Eastern Seaboard. New Jersey is one of the smallest states in area, but it is highly urbanized and has one of the country’s highest population densities. Hundreds of thousands of its citizens commute to New York and Pennsylvania. New Jersey’s transportation system is one of the busiest and most extensive in the world, and it weaves the state into the fabric of the region by funneling goods and people to New York City and other points north and to Philadelphia and points south. For hundreds of thousands of visitors it offers long stretches of fine beaches along the Atlantic Ocean, and the resort town of Atlantic City may be better known than the state itself.

Above all, New Jersey is rife with contradiction and anomaly. Its people fiercely fight off attempts of state government to end home rule by powerful municipal administrations. While the state has produced some of the most able and respected U.S. governors, corruption has often played a part in its local politics, and it has achieved notoriety as a major locus of organized crime.

New Jersey is called the Garden State because it became famous in the 18th century for the fertility of its land. It is now also among the most urbanized and crowded of states. The urban density of its northeast contrasts sharply, however, with the rugged hills of the northwest, the enormous stretches of pine forest in the southeast (the Pine Barrens), and the rolling and lush horse country in the south-central part of the state. New Jersey is an important industrial centre, but it has paid the price in environmental pollution, in dirt and noise, and in congested roads and slums. In sum, New Jersey is a curious amalgam of urban and rural, poor and wealthy, progressive and conservative, parochial and cosmopolitan. Indeed, it is one of the most diverse states in the union. Area 8,723 square miles (22,591 square km). Population (2010) 8,791,894; (2019 est.) 8,882,190.



New Jersey comprises four distinct physical regions: the Ridge and Valley section of the northwest, where the folded Appalachian Mountains slice across the state; the Highlands, a southern extension of the ancient rocks of New England, which also trend across the state in a northeast-southwest direction; the rolling central Piedmont, where many of the major cities and suburbs are located; and the relatively level Atlantic Coastal Plain, which is divided into an inner and an outer portion. The state’s highest elevation is High Point, at 1,803 feet (550 metres), located just south of the New York border in Sussex county.

The Outer Coastal Plain, with its relatively poor sandy soils, is where the Pine Barrens are located. The best soils are located on the Inner Coastal Plain and on the Piedmont and in valleys in the New England section south of the last glacial advance. Although suburbanization has devoured much of New Jersey’s agricultural land, substantial estates and farms still exist in parts of the Piedmont, and truck farms still dominate many parts of the southern Inner Coastal Plain. The northern Inner Coastal Plain is home to prosperous horse farms, and some dairying still exists in the Ridge and Valley section. The most striking features of the state are its beaches, the Pine Barrens, The Palisades facing Manhattan, the broad marshes and swampland in the northeast, and the hills of the northwest, including the famous Delaware Water Gap.


Lakes and ponds cover about 300 square miles (780 square km) of the state’s surface. New Jersey’s major river, which it shares with Pennsylvania, is the Delaware. The Hudson River separates the state from New York. Other major rivers are the Passaic and the Hackensack, both in the northeast, and the Raritan, which runs west to east and is generally regarded as the boundary between North and Central Jersey. Lake Hopatcong, in Sussex and Morris counties, is the state’s largest lake.


The northwest experiences relatively cold winters, with average January temperatures below 28 °F (−2 °C). Relatively mild conditions prevail in the south, with average winter temperatures above freezing. Summers are relatively hot throughout the state, with averages for July ranging from about 70 °F (21 °C) in the northwest to above 76 °F (24 °C) in the southwest. Moist conditions prevail, with seasonally well-distributed precipitation averaging from 44 inches to more than 52 inches (1,120 to 1,320 mm).

Plant and animal life

Virtually all of the plant life that is common to the northeastern United States can be found in New Jersey, and many rare plant species grow in the marshes and Pine Barrens, including some insect-ingesting plants. The Barrens are dominated, however, by oak and pine on the well-drained sites and by white cedar in the poorly drained bogs. Common trees elsewhere include oaks, sugar maples, hemlocks, birches, ashes, sweet gums, and other deciduous species. Common plants are wild azaleas, rhododendrons, honeysuckles, mountain laurels, wintergreen, and cardinal flowers.

The marshy area west of The Palisades (the Hackensack Meadows, popularly called the Meadowlands) and the Great Swamp of Morris county are relics of glacial lakes of the last Ice Age. The former is dominated by grasses, the latter by trees. The Meadowlands are managed to encourage wise land use and pollution abatement. The Great Swamp, one of several poorly drained areas in the Passaic River basin, is a national wildlife refuge. Elsewhere, increasing suburban development has encroached on wildlife habitats; bears and especially deer have become serious pests. Raccoons and opossums are common, even in many suburbs, and other mammals, snakes, and birds common to the northeastern United States (including migratory species) are also found within the state.


Population composition

New Jersey’s population reflects the immigration patterns of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Germans and Slavs, Russian and European Jews, Irish, and Italians. Those categorized as white (i.e., generally of European origin) constitute more than two-thirds of the population. New Jersey was a prime destination for the waves of African Americans who left the South during and after World War II; more than one-tenth of the state’s total population is made up of African Americans. There is also a sizable Hispanic population, the largest subgroups of which are Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and Cubans. In the late 20th century, immigrant groups began to grow even more diverse and included South Asians, Portuguese, different Latin American groups, and others.

Italian Americans are the state’s largest ethnic group. They are the predominant white bloc in the cities, although the cities also contain sizable Polish, Hungarian, and other eastern European groups. Italian Americans and African Americans dominate the political and cultural life of the cities—a situation that at times has brought the two groups into competition and conflict.

Settlement patterns

The most distinctive of New Jersey’s regions is its long shoreline, which stretches for 125 miles (200 km). Much of it is composed of long and narrow barrier islands separated from the mainland by shallow lagoons and from one another by tidal inlets. Cape May, at the southern tip of the state, was among the first summer resorts in the country, and both that community and Long Branch in Monmouth county were known as the playgrounds of presidents during the 19th century. The quality of the Shore, as it is called, ranges from the urban garishness of Asbury Park to the opulence of Deal and Mantoloking. In such resorts as Wildwood and Atlantic City, the nightlife goes until dawn, whereas other seaside towns such as Avalon, Ocean City, and Beach Haven are family resorts. The Jersey Shore at its best can be found in two parks, Sandy Hook (part of Gateway National Recreation Area) in the north and Island Beach, a state park, in the south. The dunes there are still topped with coarse but fragile grass, and osprey still build their nests there. The marshes teem with wildlife, and the trees are bent and twisted by wind and salt spray. More than two-fifths of the land is forested.

Five northeastern counties in the New York City metropolitan area—Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Bergen, and Union—contain nearly two-fifths of New Jersey’s population. Four of the six largest cities in the state—Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, and Elizabeth—are located there. The Newark–Hudson county–Elizabeth complex appears to many travelers as one endless industrial city: dingy and smelly but throbbing with commercial life.

Beyond the cities lie the suburbs. Most are pleasant and prosperous, but some of the older ones show signs of urban blight. Industrial construction in suburban communities has increased, but many suburban towns, especially in Bergen county, remain bedroom communities of New York City and of the New Jersey cities. Newark’s population doubles every day as the workforce pours in. New Jersey remains dominated, however, by the two giant cities just beyond its borders. Hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans cross the Hudson to New York City on the average workday. North Jerseyans watch New York television, root (for the most part) for New York athletic teams, and patronize New York theatres and restaurants. A similar situation exists in Camden, Burlington, Gloucester, and Mercer counties, where residents cross the Delaware to jobs in Philadelphia.

South Jersey begins south of Trenton and comprises most of eight counties. It includes roughly half of the state’s area but only about one-fourth of the population. The loamy soil of the Inner Coastal Plain is well suited to vegetable farming, and most of the land not covered by forest or marsh is farmed. Pinelands National Reserve, covering about 1,700 square miles (4,400 square km) in the Outer Coastal Plain, was established in 1978; it was the country’s first national reserve, in which the federal government provided funds for the purchase of a core of undeveloped land while state and local authorities were responsible for resource evaluation and economic planning in surrounding developed areas.

Central Jersey, all of five counties and part of three, is largely a plain, but hilly areas occur in Hunterdon and Somerset counties. Middlesex and Mercer counties, especially the former, are industrialized. Princeton University is located in Mercer county and the borough of Princeton, which combines the charm of the campus with a rich colonial past to create one of the country’s loveliest towns. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, has its main campus in nearby New Brunswick. Hunterdon and Somerset counties are a mixture of suburban development, farmland, and woodland.

The four counties of northwestern New Jersey comprise a mixture of small town, affluent suburb, and rugged countryside, although two major cities, Passaic and Paterson, are located in Passaic county. The area contains some remaining dairy farms and parks and recreation areas.

Although relatively small, the Meadowlands are immensely valuable because of their location in the centre of one of the world’s busiest metropolitan areas. By the late 1960s, New Jersey had put together the machinery to develop this area through the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission (now the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission). In 1976 the Meadowlands Sports Complex began operations with the opening of a racetrack. In 1976 Giants (gridiron football) Stadium was completed, and the Continental Airlines Arena (formerly the Brendan Byrne Arena) opened in 1981. Warehouses and corporate buildings have also been constructed in the area.

The most striking demographic trend in New Jersey is the movement of the white population away from the cities and the concurrent proportional growth of the urban black and Hispanic population, accompanied by an emigration of industry and commerce. Old, outmoded factories are left behind for sleek new buildings outside cities, and huge suburban shopping centres have replaced the downtown department stores. This shift means more jobs in the suburbs, and the jobs create a commensurate demand for housing. The populations of the cities bordering those areas have become increasingly African American and Hispanic, and the cities suffer from continuing decay and poor-quality housing and services.


Alexander Hamilton’s attempt in 1791 to build the country’s first industrial town at Paterson was initially a failure. He had the right idea, however, for New Jersey was destined to become an industrial giant. Although New Jersey remains an important manufacturing state, employment in that sector has declined. Today, jobs in the service sector outnumber manufacturing jobs more than three to one. Nonetheless, the State Division of Economic Development, along with the major utilities and business organizations, has conducted an effective program of marketing New Jersey to industry. New Jersey has continued to attract many industries, especially corporate headquarters from New York City, largely through its greater space, better transportation, and favourable tax rates.

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing

The spread of industry and housing since the late 20th century has cost New Jersey much of its farmland, which has become the most valuable per acre in the United States. Farms cover about one-sixth of the state’s land area. Less than 1 percent of the state’s population is engaged in farming, but farm income per acre is among the highest in the country. New Jersey farmers grow a large variety of fruits and vegetables, including blueberries, cranberries, peaches, asparagus, bell peppers, and the famous New Jersey tomatoes. Greenhouse products, dairy products, and fruits account for the vast majority of the state’s total farm income.

The vast majority of timberland in New Jersey is privately owned, and the state has a small but vibrant forestry sector. Likewise, fishing constitutes a small but significant component of the state’s economy. Based in Cape May and other ports along the Jersey Shore, the sector lands a great variety of seafood (notably shellfish) annually. The state has been actively promoting aquaculture since the mid-1990s.

Resources, manufacturing, and power

The state was once renowned for its mineral deposits, notably iron ores, and New Jersey provided much of the iron used to make artillery during the American Revolution. Now, nearly all raw materials and fossil fuels must be imported; sand and stone are the most important minerals exploited. New Jersey’s major industries include the production of chemicals and the manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment, textiles, food, toys, sporting goods, and stone, glass, and clay products. About half of the state’s electricity is generated by thermal plants and the other half at nuclear facilities, with a tiny proportion from other sources.

Services, labour, and taxation

New Jersey has a large and prestigious research sector, with one of the country’s highest numbers of engineers and scientists per capita. The great inventor Thomas Alva Edison established a research laboratory in Menlo Park in 1876. There he created the incandescent lamp and the phonograph and pioneered motion-picture technology. Today the landscape of the central part of the state is replete with the research facilities of international repute that have succeeded Edison’s pioneering laboratory.

Resorts and tourism are a significant part of New Jersey’s economy, especially in the south, where a bad year at the Shore hurts the economic well-being of the entire region. Gambling has contributed greatly to the service sector since the mid-1970s, when residents of New Jersey approved a constitutional amendment to permit gambling casinos at Atlantic City.

New Jersey has one of the country’s highest rates of union membership among employed workers. In absolute terms it has one of the highest numbers of union members, despite the state’s small size. This high participation level reflects the degree of New Jersey’s industrialization and organized labour’s long history in the state. Among the many significant labour strikes have been those of silk workers in Paterson in 1913 and of woolen-mill workers in Passaic in 1926.

New Jersey’s greatest source of tax revenue is individual and corporate income taxes, followed closely by various sales taxes. Licenses and property taxes provide smaller portions of revenue.


Since colonial days, when New Jersey’s roads first linked Philadelphia and New York City, transportation has been the lifeblood of the state’s economy, and its role in New Jersey can best be appreciated in the Newark area. There, a dozen lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike converge with the main line of Conrail (Consolidated Rail Corporation), Newark Liberty International Airport, Port Newark, and the Elizabeth–Port Authority Marine Terminal to provide one of the world’s most dynamic transportation landscapes.

The economy of northern New Jersey is bound tightly to that of New York City, and the commercial traffic between the two states is the country’s heaviest. In 1921 the states of New York and New Jersey formed the Port of New York Authority, now called the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey—a bistate commission empowered to finance and operate transportation facilities in the New York metropolitan area. The Port Authority, as it is known, is a public corporation operating Newark and Teterboro airports in New Jersey and La Guardia and Kennedy airports in New York, as well as the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, three bridges, huge piers, bus and rail lines, and truck terminals.

A similar but much smaller transit complex exists in the Camden area and links the South Jersey area with Philadelphia. Camden has a deepwater port on the Delaware River and high-speed transit to Philadelphia.

Even before World War II, New Jersey had one of the country’s finest road networks, and it subsequently built an extensive network of toll highways. The New Jersey Turnpike runs the length of the state from the George Washington Bridge in the northeast to the Delaware Memorial Bridge in the southwest. The Garden State Parkway stretches southward along the eastern side of the state from the New York state line nearly to Cape May, and the Atlantic City Expressway connects Atlantic City with the Camden area to the northwest.

Government and society

Constitutional framework

New Jersey has had three constitutions. The current constitution dates from 1947 and has been amended many times. New Jersey governors serve terms of four years, and they are permitted reelection to a second term. The governor appoints, with the advice and consent of the Senate (one of the state legislature’s two chambers; the lower house is called the General Assembly), virtually all top state officers and members of state boards, state authorities, and the judiciary; the governor also has the authority to supersede county prosecutors. By virtue of having broad executive and administrative powers, a vast patronage network, and unequaled access to the press, radio, and television, the governor of New Jersey is a relatively strong chief executive. A two-thirds majority of both legislative houses is necessary to override a gubernatorial veto.

In 1966, in response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision, the New Jersey legislature adopted the “one man, one vote” principle. Voters in each of the state’s 40 districts choose one senator and two General Assembly members. Assembly members serve two-year terms. The Senate operates on a “2-4-4” cycle; senators are elected to four-year terms, except at the beginning of a decade, when they serve a two-year term. This allows for new elections as soon as possible after the reapportionment that occurs following the decennial census.

New Jersey’s 21 counties are administered by boards of freeholders elected countywide. The boards vary from three to nine members, depending on the size of the county. In addition to these elected officials, local governments are supplemented by service commissions, boards, and authorities, many of which enjoy wide independence and even autonomy. Attempts to merge municipalities, reduce the number of school districts by consolidation, or strengthen county government have not been successful; local power and prerogatives are important determinants in New Jersey politics.

Although there have been signs that civic bossism is declining, New Jersey’s political system was long dominated by strong county leaders who drew their power from the patronage and contracts that they dispensed through control of the municipal courthouse or city hall. The most notorious of those bosses was Frank Hague, who ruled Jersey City and Hudson county from 1917 to 1947. For three decades Hague dominated the Democratic Party and heavily influenced the Republicans. His philosophy of government was best summed up in his famous reply to those who told him an order he gave was against the law: “I am the law.”


Public elementary and secondary schools in New Jersey are largely locally funded and controlled. There was no state university until 1946, when New Jersey took over full responsibility for Rutgers. Rutgers, which began as Queen’s College in 1766, is today composed of three campuses (New Brunswick [main campus], Newark, and Camden) and a wide variety of colleges and programs. Princeton University (formerly the College of New Jersey; 1746), an Ivy League school, is one of the country’s most prestigious private institutions. Princeton Theological Seminary and the Institute for Advanced Study are also located in Princeton. Other institutions of higher learning include the College of New Jersey (public; 1855), in Trenton; Seton Hall University (Roman Catholic; 1856), in South Orange; and Stevens Institute of Technology (private; 1870), in Hoboken.

Health and welfare

Most of the services available to the citizens of New Jersey come from the state, although most of the major counties maintain institutions of one kind or another, and much funding comes through federal agencies.

Cultural life

New Jersey long has been well served by the cultural amenities of New York City and Philadelphia, and therefore the state lagged somewhat in developing its own. New Jersey helped correct that situation with the 1968 opening, in Holmdel, of the Garden State (now PNC Bank) Arts Center. The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (opened 1997), in downtown Newark, holds performances by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. These facilities have proved to be a success, and their programming of music, drama, and dance has been well received.

New Jersey has been the home and inspiration for a large number of popular musicians. Among those most strongly associated with the state have been Bruce Springsteen, who grew up in Freehold but whose early music was indelibly linked to the Jersey Shore, and Hoboken native Frank Sinatra, who was discovered by bandleader Harry James while singing at a New Jersey venue. Other notable performers from the state include Sarah Vaughan, Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston, and the heavy metal band Bon Jovi.

There are several summer theatres in New Jersey, most of them located near vacation areas. The McCarter Theatre Center, on the Princeton University campus, is open throughout the year and presents high-quality plays, music, and dance performances. Theatrical events and concerts also take place at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford. Best known as a sports venue, however, the Meadowlands is home to professional athletic teams of both New York and New Jersey. Among the teams that play there are the Jets and the Giants (gridiron football) and the Red Bulls (football [soccer]). The complex includes a horse-racing track where the Hambletonian Stake is run annually. The Devils (ice hockey) play at the Prudential Center in Newark; that venue also hosts other sports teams (professional and amateur), as well as entertainment events.

New Jersey has dozens of museums, many of them operated in conjunction with historic sites or buildings. The New Jersey State Museum, which includes a planetarium, is located in the state capitol complex in Trenton. Rutgers University’s Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum (formerly the Rutgers University Art Gallery), one of the country’s largest university art museums, houses important collections of Russian and Soviet art and 19th- and 20th-century French prints. The Newark Museum and the Princeton University Art Museum are among other well-known institutions.

New Jersey’s rich traditions are manifested in such historic homes and sites as the Rockingham State Historic Site, Washington’s winter headquarters near Princeton, where he wrote his farewell address to the Continental Army; Morven Museum and Garden (1755), in Princeton, located in the former governor’s mansion and onetime home of Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; the restored 18th- and 19th-century colonial villages of Batsto and Allaire; and the Camden home of poet Walt Whitman. These and other historic sites attract thousands of tourists each year. New Jersey also operates a system of more than 35 state parks, about a dozen forests, several national recreation areas, some 40 natural areas, and several state marinas. Washington Crossing State Park is located in Trenton. Great Falls State Park, in Paterson, features 77-foot- (23-metre-) high falls and restored historic mill buildings and raceways.


The colony

Before the Europeans arrived, the Delaware (or Lenni Lenape) Indians had long occupied the region. In 1524 the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano was the first European to reach New Jersey. Almost a century passed before colonization began with the arrival in 1609 of the English navigator Henry Hudson, who sent a party to explore Sandy Hook Bay. The first permanent European settlement was established by the Dutch at Bergen (now Jersey City) in 1660. The colony was brought under English rule in 1664, although for the next nine years the Dutch disputed that claim. In 1676 the province was divided into East and West Jersey, the former going to Sir George Carteret and the latter to a group of Friends (Quakers). The division continued until 1702, when the entire province reverted to the crown.

Unlike other colonists, who suffered from the harshness of English rule, the early Jerseyans were of such an independent nature that it was the royal governors who did much of the suffering. Until 1738 a single governor ruled New Jersey and New York. When Lewis Morris took office as the first governor of New Jersey after the separation, one member of the Assembly advised his colleagues on how governors should be treated: “Let us keep the doges poore [i.e., by paying governors a low salary] and wee’ll make them do as we please.”

Revolution and statehood

Considerable division occurred within the state over the American Revolution, and Tory activity was heavy. The state was the site of more than 100 battles, earning it the nickname Crossroads of the Revolution. The most significant of these took place on Dec. 26, 1776, when Gen. George Washington and his hungry, ragged troops crossed the Delaware River from Pennsylvania in Durham boats (shallow-draft freight vessels), surprised a garrison of German mercenaries in Trenton, and captured the city. A week later, Washington won another vital battle at Princeton, routing the British forces under Col. Charles Mawhood. The victories breathed new life into the Revolution, and an army of colonials near despair was transformed into an effective fighting force. During the war Long Pond Ironworks and Batsto Iron Works (both founded 1766) supplied munitions to American troops. In 1776 New Jersey adopted its first constitution, which granted suffrage to women (although the legislature revoked this right in 1807). In 1787 it became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Trenton, which had served briefly as the national capital in 1784, was made the state capital in 1790. In its early years of statehood, New Jersey concentrated on rebuilding its economy from the damage done during the war.

Growth of the contemporary state

Between the Revolutionary and Civil wars, New Jersey underwent tremendous industrial development, largely abetted by the construction of canals and, later, railroads. The railroads, in particular the Camden and Amboy line (a forerunner of present-day Conrail), played a crucial role in the state’s political life, dominating and controlling legislators and governors during the “robber baron” era of industrial expansion in the 19th century. Accommodating tax laws of that era gave New Jersey the epithet Mother of Trusts—half of the country’s largest corporations made their headquarters in the state by the early 1900s. Public dissatisfaction with the power of the trusts and public utilities reached a high point at the time of the election of Gov. Woodrow Wilson (1911–13), who signed legislation providing for tighter regulation of corporations (later repealed). Economic growth continued during and after World Wars I and II, but the growing decay of the cities continued to be largely overlooked amid general prosperity throughout the 20th century.
Politically, New Jersey is often a swing state in national elections. It historically tended to lean Republican, but, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, voters more decidedly supported the Democrats, who have since frequently controlled the state legislature. The governorship has tended to alternate between Republican and Democrat. In 1993 Republican Christine Todd Whitman became the first female governor of New Jersey.

A master plan for the state’s development, first adopted in 1992 and subsequently updated, aimed to direct growth toward existing infrastructure. The goal was to benefit existing urban and older suburban areas and to protect the state’s natural resources. The state also committed to the acquisition of open space and the reduction of suburban sprawl and its concomitant difficulties for commuters. Simultaneously, there was a rise of “edge cities” (suburban areas that contain all or most of the functions once found only in an urban context). As New Jersey moves through its fourth century of history, it continues to fulfill its potential as a diverse and richly gifted state.

1. Get the basics right

As Java offers so many features and options to the developers, people are sometimes lured into learning too many things in too little time. As a result of this, they get ‘bits and pieces’ knowledge of a few options that Java offers, but their basics hang on a loose thread. Trust me when I say this, Java is one programming language which is easy if you have paid attention to the simple basics, however; it can be frustrating if you get greedy and try to take the shorter route forward.

2. Don’t just read

Well, if your sole purpose of learning Java is to clear the exam you have the next day, go ahead and mug up all the things that you can and you might just get the passing marks. However; if you are really serious about learning Java and getting better at it, the best way to do it is not by reading, but by implementing. Gain knowledge and then execute what you have learnt, in the form of code. You can never learn Java if you are not willing to get your hands dirty.

3. Understand your code and algorithm

Even if you are writing a simple code having a ‘if else’ statement, as a beginner, start by realizing the code on a piece of paper. The algorithm and the whole compiler process will look so meaningful once you understand the idea behind the code. Even for experts, the best way to solve a complex problem or to formulate an algorithm to solve a Java program is to break the problem into sub-parts and then try to devise a solution for each sub part. When you start getting the solutions right, you will get the confidence to work more.

4. Do not forget to allocate memory

This tip is particularly useful for those who switch from C, C++ to Java. The memory allocation in Java using the ‘new’ keyword is a necessity as Java is a dynamic programming language. C, C++ does not explicitly have this feature, therefore you must take care while handling array and object declaration in Java. Not using the ‘new’ keyword will show a null pointer exception in the code.

5. Avoid creating useless objects

When you create an object in Java, you use up memory and processor speed from the system. Since object creation is incomplete without allocating memory to it, it is better to keep the object requirements under check and not create unwanted objects in the code.

6. Interface is better than Abstract class

There is no multiple inheritance in Java, and this will be spoon fed to you so many times while learning the language that you will probably never forget it for the rest of your life. However; the tip here in not to remember that there is no multiple inheritance in Java, but the fact that interface will come in handy if you want to implement something like multiple inheritance without using the extends keyword. Remember, in Java, when nothing goes your way, you will always have interface by your side. Abstract class does not always give programmers the liberty of having a variety of methods to work with, however; interface only have abstract methods therefore is does the job of abstract classes and has other advantages as well.

7. Standard library is a bliss

The biggest advantage that Java has over its predecessors, from a programming point of view, is probably its rich set of standard library methods. Using Java’s standard library makes the job of a programmer easy, more efficient and gives a well organised flow to the code. Further, operations can be performed easily on the methods specified in the library.

8. Prefer Primitive classes over Wrapper Class

Wrapper classes are no doubt, of great utility, but they are often slower than primitive classes. Primitive class only has values while the wrapper class stores information about the entire class. Further, since wrapper classes often deal with object values, comparing them like the primitive classes does not give desired results as it ends up comparing objects instead of values stored in it.

9. Dealing with strings

Since Object oriented programming classifies String as a class, a simple concatenation of two strings might result into the creation of a new string object in Java which eventually affects the memory and speed of the system. It is always better to instantiate a string object directly, without using the constructor for this purpose.

10. Code, Code, Code

There is so much to learn about Java that you just cannot get over with this programming language and it keeps getting more interesting and amusing, however; it is important to maintain the interest within to learn and the hunger to get better. A programming language like Java can be learnt on our own and with great success, but the only thing that is required is continuous learning and coding to test what you have learnt. Java is a lot like playing a sport; the more you sweat in the practice, less you bleed in the match.


一个人的价值, 在于他贡献了什么, 而不在于他获得了什么。

我从来不把安逸和快乐看作是生活目的本身, 对这种伦理基础, 我称之为’猪栏的理想’。

The unexamined life is not worth living.
——苏格拉底 (哲学之父)

一过了这个年龄段, 他们就变成自己的影子, 以后的生命只是在不断重复自己。

活着, 如同生命最后一天般活着;
学习, 如同永远活着般学习。
——圣雄甘地 (印度国父)

在这个世界上, 人所处的绝境, 在很多情况下, 都不是生存的绝境, 而是精神的绝境!

人生中最大的两个财富是: 你的才华和你的时间。

Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

这辈子没法做太多的事情, 所以每一件都要做到精彩绝伦!

我每天都自问: ‘如果今天是我生命的最后一天, 我还会做今天打算做的事情吗?’

想得到你从未拥有过的东西, 就必须做你从未做过的事情。

——林肯 (美国前总统)

没有人可以回到过去重新开始, 但谁都可以从现在开始, 书写一个全然不同的结局!

人生最大的一种痛, 不是失败, 而是没有经历自己想要经历的一切。

你若不想做, 总能找到借口; 你若想做, 总会找到方法

宁鸣而死 不默而生


判断一个人的人品, 不是看他好起来做什么好事, 而是看他坏起来【不做】什么坏事。

不要去欺骗别人 – 因为你能骗到的人, 都是相信你的人。

想要成功, 就要学会在机遇从头顶上飞过时跳起来并抓住它。

授人以鱼只救一时之急, 授人以渔则可解一生之需。



——本杰明.富兰克林 (美国开国元勋 物理学家 作家)

学习不是填满水桶, 而是点燃火焰!
Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.
——叶芝 (爱尔兰诗人)

——苏格拉底 (哲学之父)

真正的无知不是知识的贫乏, 而是拒绝获取知识!
——波普尔 (哲学家 思想家)

——尼古拉.鲁巴金 (俄国作家)

不要盲目地崇拜任何权威, 因为你总能找到相反的权威。
——罗素 (哲学家 数学家 诺贝尔文学奖得主)

To follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.
——本杰明.富兰克林 (美国开国元勋 物理学家 作家)

想象力比知识更重要! 因为知识是有限的, 而想象力概括着世界的一切, 推动着进步, 并且是知识进化的源泉。

你要按你所想的去生活; 否则, 你迟早会按你所生活的去想!

大多数人宁愿死去, 也不愿思考。 – 事实上他们也确实到死都没有思考。
——罗素 (哲学家 数学家 诺贝尔文学奖得主)

对知识分子而言, 成为思维的精英比成为道德的精英更重要。
——王小波 (作家)

只有两样东西可能是无限的: 宇宙的大小和人类的愚蠢。不过, 对于前者我不太确定 :)


NO silver bullet
——Fred Brooks (图灵奖得主 《人月神话》作者)

——Edsger Dijkstra (图灵奖得主)


Simple is beautiful

Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability.
——Edsger Dijkstra (图灵奖得主)

——Grady Booch (UML创始人之一)

设计软件有两种方法: 一种是简单到极致而明显没有缺陷; 另一种是复杂到极致以至于没有明显的缺陷。前者要难得多!

优秀的设计在不断地演化, 糟糕的设计在不断地打补丁。

最纯粹、最抽象的设计难题就是设计桥梁。你面对的问题是: 如何用最少的材料, 跨越给定的距离。
——保罗.格雷汉姆 (知名黑客 硅谷牛人)


——Ralph Johnson (设计模式四人帮之一)

软件设计就像做爱, 一次犯错, 你要用余下的一生来维护。
——Michael Sinz



——Doug Linder

——《代码大全》Steve McConnell

假如程序代码和注释不一致, 那么很可能两者都是错的!
——Norm Schryer

你写下的任何代码, 在六个月以后去看的话, 都像是别人写的。
——Tom Cargill

程序必须首先让人类可以理解, 然后顺便让机器能执行。


不能影响你编程观点的语言, 不值得你去学。
——Alan Perlis

世界上只有两种编程语言: 要么充满了抱怨; 要么没人使用。
——Bjarne Stroustrup (C++之父)

没有哪种编程语言能阻止程序员写出糟糕的代码, 不管这种语言的结构有多么好。
——Larry Flon

C语言诡异离奇, 缺陷重重, 但却获得了巨大的成功 :)
——Dennis Ritchie (C语言之父 Unix之父)

(相对C而言)在C++里, 想搬起石头砸自己的脚更为困难了。
不过一旦你真这么做了, 整条腿都得报销!
——Bjarne Stroustrup (C++之父)

Java与JavaScript的关系, 如同雷锋与雷峰塔的关系


在理论上, 理论和实践是没有差异的; 但在实践中, 是有的。
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.

——Fred Brooks (图灵奖得主 《人月神话》作者)


在水上行走和按需求文档开发软件都很容易 – 前提是它们都处于冻结状态
——Edward V Berard

乐观主义是软件开发的职业病, 用户反馈则是其治疗方法。
——Kent Beck (Extreme Programming之父)

程序员要开发出更大更好、连傻瓜都会用的软件; 而上帝在努力创造更傻的傻瓜。
到目前为止, 一直是上帝赢。
——Rick Cook


如果建筑工人像程序员写软件那样盖房子, 那第一只飞来的啄木鸟就能毁掉人类文明。
——Gerald Weinberg (软件工程大牛)

如果调试(debug)是去除bug的过程, 那么编程就是制造bug的过程。
——Edsger Dijkstra (图灵奖得主)

要在自己的代码里找出一个bug是十分困难的。而当你认为你的代码没有错误时, 那就更难了。
——《代码大全》Steve McConnel

因此, 如果你尽自己所能写出了最复杂的代码, 你将没有更大的智慧去调试它。


过早的优化是万恶之源 Premature optimization is the root of all evil.
——Donald Knuth (算法大牛 图灵奖得主)

Tape is Dead, Disk is Tape, Flash is Disk, RAM Locality is King!
——Jim Gray (数据库大牛 图灵奖得主)


软件就像’性’, 免费的时候更好!
Software is like sex; it’s better when it’s free.
——Linus Torvalds (Linux之父)


我也会有恐惧和贪婪, 只不过是在大众贪婪时恐惧, 在大众恐惧时贪婪!

控制风险的最好办法是深入思考, 而不是投资组合。

价值投资不能保证我们盈利, 但价值投资给我们提供了通向成功的唯一机会。

我从事投资时, 会观察一家公司的全貌; 而大多数投资人只盯着它的股价。

投资成功与否并非取决于你了解的东西, 而在于你能否老老实实地承认你所不知道的东西。
投资人并不需要做对很多事情, 重要的是不要犯重大的错误。

所谓’市场效率学说’之类的投资教条, 不过是为了增加投资的神秘性, 好让投资顾问得以从中牟利罢了。

退潮时, 便可知道谁在裸泳。

短期而言, 股票市场是个投票机; 长期而言, 股票市场是个称重器。

投资是预测资产收益的活动, 而投机是预测市场心理的活动。

投资的风险来自于: 你不知道你在做什么 :)


用人不在于如何减少人的短处, 而在于如何发挥人的长处。
——彼得.德鲁克 (管理学之父)

——松下幸之助 (号称日本经营之神)

你想雇用的人必须具备3种品质: 正直诚实、聪明能干和精力充沛。如果缺少第一种, 后两种品质会要你命!

以用户为中心, 其它一切纷至沓来!
——Google 信条

——Andy Grove (英特尔创始人之一, 前任CEO)


我的管理风格既不是美国的个人主义, 也不是日本的共识主义, 而是独特的达尔文主义(适者生存)!

我们没有不懂技术的管理人员 – 因为寻求技术和管理的平衡毫不费力!

伟大的车工值得给他几倍于普通车工的薪水。但一个伟大的程序员, 其价值相当于普通程序员的1万倍!

当你用一个手指指着某人时, 请注意其它三个手指在指哪儿。
——Gerald Weinberg (软件工程大牛)



初学者眼里有很多可能性,专家眼里只有很少可能性。(In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.)

铃木俊隆(Shunryu Suzuki),日本禅宗僧人


输入要保持开放,输出要保持保守。(Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send.)

Jon Postel 谈如何设计接口



埃德·维斯特斯(Ed Viesturs),美国著名登山家


广受欢迎的技术会被过度使用,Node.js 就是如此,被用在许多不适合的场合。

《Node.js 的过度使用》


Snapchat 是斯坦福大学两个大学生写的一个聊天工具,它基于一个疯狂的想法:用户共享的所有内容都是临时的,半天后就会自动消失,你想看也看不到。




数学家理查德·汉明(Richard Hamming)总是问其他领域的科学家:”你的领域中最重要的问题是什么?”,然后问第二个问题:”你为什么不研究它们?”。





















Pistol / Handgun - The handgun is a firearm designed to be held in the palm of one hand and intended to be fired as such (though two hands are generally used for accuracy with the weapon held away from the body at arm’s length). The handgun takes on various forms including the early single-shot forms, the later revolver-type forms and the modern semi-automatic pistol. Handguns given full-automatic fire are generally classified as’machine pistols’ for their firepower as related to a machine gun. EXAMPLES: .44 Magnum; Flintlock Pistol; Walther P99; Colt M1911.

Musket - Muskets appeared around the 16th Century and managed an existence into the 19th Century. These firearms utilized a long, smoothbore barrel for range, were operated from the shoulder utilizing a two-hand hold and fired a spherical metal ball. Muskets were muzzle-loading instruments (that is, loaded from the barrel) which made them time-consuming to reload, forcing lines of infantry (musketeers) to be used in formation. The introduction of rifling brought about the classification of ‘rifled musket’ detailed next.

Rifled Musket - Rifling was the gunsmithing practice of adding grooves within the bore of a barrel to help a bullet retain accuracy and range once it left the weapon. Many smoothbore muskets were converted by rifling to become ‘Rifled Muskets’, a sort of interim design between the original musket and the newfangled ‘rifle’. The introduction of the breech loading cartridge all but killed the musket as a viable firearm.

Rifle - Rifle is a general term used to represent a modern-day ‘long gun’ featuring ‘rifling’ inside the barrel that promotes accuracy at range and is able to be fired from the shoulder using both hands to complete the three-point hold. Rifles include the sub-groups of Battle Rifle and Assault Rifle.

Battle Rifle - The Battle Rifle appeared after World War 2 and was an automatic ‘long gun’ that utilized a full-power rifle-based cartridge. Battle Rifles formed many of the frontline service rifles of the Cold War and were primarily centered around the 7.62x51mm cartridge in the West. EXAMPLES: HK G3; M14; FN FAL.

Assault Rifle - Classification falls between submachine gun and light machine gun. Assault rifles are today’s modern frontline service rifles, having replaced the Battle Rifle used during the Cold War. An assault rifle is categorized by its use of an’intermediate’cartridge size (that is, less than a full-power rifle cartridge - ex: 7.62x54mmR) coupled with a detachable box magazine. The German WW2-era StG 44 is largely accepted as the first’true’ assault rifle. EXAMPLES: Colt M16; Kalashnikov AK-47; L85A1; HK G36.

Carbine - Carbines are generally shortened forms of existing long guns and can be based on muskets or rifled automatic weapons. The carbine retains the capability to fire a full-power rifle cartridge though this is delivered in a more compact form brought about by shortening the barrel and forend assemblies. Due to the modifications, carbines generally lose accuracy at range though they are intended as close-quarter weapons. Carbines fall between submachine guns and assault rifle concepts. EXAMPLES: KAR 98K; CAR-15; M1 Carbine; M4 Carbine.

Submachine Gun - Submachine Guns are automatic weapons of compact size when compared to their larger rifle cousins. Submachine guns also feature rifled barrels but barrels that are shorter in length to promote the compact sizes required of this weapon class. Additionally, submachine guns generally utilize pistol cartridges which are lower-powered when compared to full-size long guns but carry inherent man-stopping capabilities all their own. The earliest ‘true’ submachine gun was the German WW1-era Bergmann MP18 which saw extended service into WW2. EXAMPLES: HK MP5; MP38/40; STEN Gun; UZI 9mm; AKSU-74.

Designated Marksman Rifle - Designated Marksman Rifles (DMR) are automatic weapons outfitted with sniper-type optics and issued to squad-level sharpshooters. DMR personnel fall between the standard frontline infantryman and the dedicated sniper element and their weapons are modified to suit the role. Modifications include the installation of optics and a bipod for accuracy at range. Their weapons are generally full-sized long guns firing a full-power rifle cartridge from a high-count detachable box magazine through a semi-automatic action (one bullet fired for every trigger pull). They may actually be modified Battle Rifles detailed above. EXAMPLES: M14; FN FAL; AR-10; HK G3.

Sniper Rifle - Sniper Rifles are operated by specially trained shooters centered on accuracy against targets at long ranges. Weapons are typically very accurized systems with optics, bipods and adjustable shoulder stocks as standard. Traditional sniper rifles are also manually-actuated bolt-action weapons that require the operator to move the bolt handle to introduce a cartridge into the firing chamber. Sniper rifles are nearly always chambered for the 7.62mm full-power rifle cartridge for its range and man-stopping qualities. EXAMPLES: Remington M40; Mosin-Nagant; H-S Precision Pro Series 2000.

Anti-Material Rifle - Anti-Material Rifles owe their existence to the bolt-action rifles of old. The first anti-material rifle was developed by the German Army in World War 1 to counter the threat posed by British tanks (‘Landships’). The anti-material rifle is centered on the firing of a full-power large caliber cartridge - typically the 12.7x99mm NATO (.50 BMG), the 14.5x114mm Russian or, most recently, the 20mm cartridge. Their intent is to engage critical components of an armored vehicle, disabling key systems that would render the vehicle inoperable. Additionally, anti-material rifles can engage various other targets including communications equipment and even personnel - in the latter case having a truly disastrous effect on the target. Anti-material rifles have grown in popularity over the recent decades as they become more of a primary fixture on the modern battlefield.

  • Aircraft Carrier

    Naval vessel able to launch and retrieve airplanes

  • Amphibious warfare ship

    vessels of various sizes for landing personnel and vehicles

  • Aviso

    (Spanish or French) Originally a dispatch boat, later applied to ships equivalent to the Royal Navy sloop

  • Barque

    A sailing vessel with three or more masts, fore-and-aft rigged on only the aftermost

  • Barquentine

    A sailing vessel with three or more masts, square-rigged only on the foremast

  • Battlecruiser

    A heavily-armed cruiser similar to a battleship but possessing less armour

  • Battleship

    A large, heavily armoured and heavily gunned powered warship

  • Bilander

    A ship or brig with a lug-rigged mizzen sail

  • Bireme

    An ancient vessel, propelled by two banks of oars

  • Birlinn

    (Scots) Clinker-built vessel, single-masted with a square sail also capable of being rowed

  • Blockade runner

    A ship whose current business is to slip past a blockade

  • Boita

    A cargo vessel used for trade between Eastern India and Indochina

  • Brig

    A two-masted, square-rigged vessel

  • Brigantine

    A two-masted vessel, square-rigged on the foremast and fore-and-aft rigged on the main

  • Caravel

    (Portuguese) A much smaller, two, sometimes three-masted ship

  • Carrack

    Three or four masted ship, square-rigged forward, lateen-rigged aft; 14th to 16th century successor to the cog

  • Cartel

    A small boat used to negotiate between enemies

  • Catboat

    A sailing vessel characterized by a single mast carried well forward (i.e., near the bow of the boat)

  • Clipper

    A fast multiple-masted sailing ship, generally used by merchants because of their speed capabilities

  • Coastal defense ship

    A vessel built for coastal defense

  • Cog

    Plank built, one mast, square rigged, 12th to 14th century, superseded the longship

  • Collier

    A vessel designed for the coal trade

  • Corvette

    A small, maneuverable, lightly armed warship, generally smaller than a frigate

  • Cruise ship

    A ship used for carrying passengers on pleasure cruises

  • Cruiser

    A warship that is generally larger than a destroyer, but smaller than a battleship

  • Destroyer

    A warship mainly used for anti-submarine warfare

  • Destroyer escort

    A lighter destroyer intended primarily for escort duties

  • Dhow

    traditional sailing vessels with one or more masts with settee or sometimes lateen sails, used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region

  • Dreadnought

    An early twentieth century type of battleship characterized by an “all big gun” armamentPre-dreadnoughtBattleships predating the dreadnought, characterized by having an offensive battery of mixed calibers

  • Drekar

    A Viking longship with sails and oars

  • Dromons

    Ancient precursors to galleys

  • East Indiaman

    An armed merchantman belonging to one of the East India companies

  • Felucca

    A traditional Arab type of sailing vessel

  • Fire ship

    A vessel of any sort, set on fire and sent forth to cause consternation and destruction, rendering an enemy vulnerable

  • Fluyt

    A Dutch-made vessel from the Golden Age of Sail, with multiple decks and usually three square-rigged masts, usually used for merchant purposesFlüte (Frenchen flûte, “as a fluyt”): A sailing warship used as a transport, with a reduced armament

  • Frigate

    A term used for warships of many sizes and roles over the past few centuries

  • Galleass

    A sailing and rowing warship, equally well suited to sailing and rowing

  • Galleon

    A sixteenth century sailing warship

  • Galley

    A warship propelled by oars with a sail for use in a favourable wind

  • Galliot

    Name refers to several types of sailing vessel, usually two-masted

  • Gunboat

    Various small armed vessels, originally sail and later powered

  • Ironclad

    A wooden warship with external iron plating

  • Junk

    A Chinese sailing ship that widely used in ancient far east and South China sea which includes many variants such as Fu Ship, Kwong Ship.

  • Karve

    A small type of Viking longship

  • Knarr

    A large type of Viking cargo ship, fit for Atlantic crossings

  • Lorcha

    A sailing ship with mixed Chinese (rig) and western design (hull) that used since 16th century in far east.

  • Landing Ship, Tank

    Military ship for landing troops and vehicles

  • Liberty ship

    A type of welded American merchant ship of the late Second World War period, designed for rapid construction in large quantity

  • Liner or ocean liner

    A large passenger ship, usually running on a regular schedule. The same vessel may be used as a cruise ship

  • Littoral combat ship (LCS)

    US warship intermediate in size between a corvette and a frigate, similar to a sloop

  • Longship

    A Viking raiding ship

  • Man-of-war

    A heavily-armed sailing warship

  • Merchantman

    A trading vesselArmed merchantmanA trading vessel possessing weapons for self-defenseMerchant aircraft carrierA merchant vessel capable of launching aircraftMerchant raiderAn armed vessel used for raiding disguised as a merchant vessel

  • Mistico

    Small, fast two or three-masted Mediterranean sailing vessel

  • Monitor

    A small, very heavily gunned warship with shallow draft, designed for coastal operations

  • Motor ship or motor vessel

    A vessel powered by a non-steam engine, typically diesel. Ship prefix MS or MV

  • Nef

    A large medieval sailing ship

  • Paddle steamer

    A steam-propelled, paddle-driven vessel

  • Panterschepen (Dutch) or Pansarskepp (Swedish)

    Types of ironclad, heavy gunboats designed for coastal or colonial service

  • Penteconter

    An ancient warship propelled by 50 oars, 25 on each side

  • Pinisi (or Phinisi)

    A fast, two-masted ship traditionally used by the Bugis of Eastern Indonesia

  • Polyreme

    A generic modern term for ancient warships propelled by two or three banks of oarsmen, with three or more files of men per side, sometimes with more than one man per oar, and named after the number of files. Polyremes comprise the trireme (3 files), quadrireme, quinquereme, hexareme or sexireme (probably a trireme with two rowers per oar), septireme, octeres, enneres, deceres, and larger polyremes up to a “forty”, with 40 files of oarsmen, 130m long, carrying 7,250 rowers, other crew, and marines

  • Pram (ship)

    A pram or pramm is a type of shallow-draught flat-bottomed ship. There is also a type of boat called Pram

  • Q-ship

    A heavily-armed vessel disguised as a merchantman to lure submarines into attacking

  • Quinquereme

    An ancient warship propelled by three banks of oars; respectively the top, middle, and lower banks had two, two, and one (i.e., 5 total) men per oar

  • Royal Mail Ship

    Any ship carrying mail for the British Royal Mail, allocated ship prefix RMS while doing so. Typically a fast liner carrying passengers.

  • Schooner

    A fore and aft-rigged vessel with two or more masts of which the foremast is shorter than the main

  • Settee

    Single-decked, single or double-masted Mediterranean cargo vessel carrying a settee sail

  • Shallop

    A large, heavily built, sixteenth-century boat which is fore-and-aft rigged; more recently a poetically frail open boat

  • Ship or full-rigged ship

    Historically a sailing vessel with three or more full-rigged masts. “Ship” is now used for any large watercraft

  • Ship of the line [of battle]

    A sailing warship generally of first, second or third rate, i.e., with 64 or more guns; until the mid eighteenth century fourth rates (50-60 guns) also served in the line of battle. Succeeded by the powered battleship

  • Slave ship

    A cargo vessel specially converted to transport slaves

  • Sloop

    A fore-and-aft rigged sailing vessel with a single mast; later a powered warship intermediate in size between a corvette and a frigate

  • Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH)

    A modern design built for stability in rough seas; predominantly used for research sessels

  • Snow

    A small sailing ship, with a foremast, a mainmast and a trysail mast behind the main; sometimes armed as a warship with two to ten guns[1]

  • Steamship

    A ship propelled by a steam engine; includes steam frigates. Ship prefix SS for merchant vessels

  • Tartane or tartan

    A single-masted ship used for fishing and coastal trading in the Mediterranean from the 17th to the late 19th century, usually rigged with a large lateen sail, and a fore-sail to the bowsprit.

  • Trabaccolo

    A type of Mediterranean coastal sailing vessel

  • Tramp steamer

    A steamer which takes on cargo when and where it can find it

  • Trireme

    An ancient warship propelled by three banks of oars per side

  • Troopship

    A ship used for transporting troops. Large ocean liners, fast enough to outrun warships, were often used for this purpose during wartime

  • Victory ship

    Mass-produced cargo ship of the Second World War as a successor to the Liberty ship

  • Xebec

    A Mediterranean sailing ship, typically three-masted, lateen-rigged and powered also by oars, with a characteristic overhanging bow and stern

  • Yacht

    A recreational boat or ship, sail or powered

1. Allowing Paper Clutter to Accumulate

Even with online billing and banking, there is still a mountain of paper that ends up in our homes. Magazines, newspapers, school papers and projects; they have a tendency to pile up. Don’t let that happen.

Designate a place near the entryway for all mail, periodicals, and paper forms and keep a shredder or recycling bin close by. At least once a week, sort through and complete the needed action or toss.

File important papers like tax receipts. Take digital photos of children’s special artwork or frame them for display. Share magazines with retirement homes, schools, or simply read the articles online.

2. Leaving Wet Towels and Shower Curtains Bunched Up

Want to spend less time in the laundry room and scrubbing mildew from bathroom surfaces? Don’t leave wet shower curtains bunched up and wet towels in a heap on the floor.

This is one of the simplest bad habits to break. By closing the shower curtain after each use, it will dry more quickly and discourage mildew growth. By hanging wet towels to dry, you’ll get a second or third use and lighten your laundry loads.

3. Using Too Much Cleaning Product

If a little bit of cleaner works, then a lot of cleaner will work better and faster? Right? That’s not how it works.

Using too much cleaner or laundry detergent can actually cause more harm than good. If an excess of cleaning product is not rinsed away completely, the residue becomes a dirt magnet, trapping soil. That’s why you should read directions and always use the recommended amount or even a little less. You’re wasting time and money on the extra product and the water to rinse it away.

4. Cleaning With Dirty Tools

How can you expect clean results when you are using dirty cleaning tools? If your washer has an odor from built-up bacteria in detergent residue, your clothes are going to stink. If your vacuum bag or filter is filled with dust, it won’t do a good job sucking up any more. A dirty mop or sponge simply pushes around more soil and bacteria.

Take the time to thoroughly clean tools after every use by emptying completely or washing in hot water and adding a disinfectant. Periodically, replace with new tools.

5. Using One Disinfectant Wipe to Clean Entire Bathroom

Disposable disinfectant wipes are great for a quick wipe down of a bathroom sink. But that little square hardly contains enough disinfectant to clean an entire bathroom. By the time you reach the toilet seat and handles, the disinfectant qualities are gone and you are simply spreading bacteria from one surface to another.

To be effective, the wipe should contain enough disinfectant moisture so the surface remains wet for at least four minutes. For a thorough cleaning, use multiple wipes or a clean cloth and sufficient disinfectant and water solution.

6. Leaving Dirty Dishes in the Sink

How much longer would it take to put that dirty glass in the dishwasher instead of the sink? Leaving dirty dishes in the sink is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and a jackpot for hungry insects.

Train everyone in the household to either put the dishes in the dishwasher or wash them immediately.

7. Wearing Outside Shoes in the House

Taking just a few seconds to remove your shoes each time you come in from the outside will save you hours of vacuuming. Not to mention the bacteria and germs that will stay out of living areas.

Whether entry is through a mudroom or the front door, make this habit simple for everyone by providing a bench or chair for easier shoe removal. Keep a shoe tray close by for wet or muddy shoes and a bin to collect each family member’s footwear.

8. Storing Cleaning Products Incorrectly

Do you spend half your designated cleaning time trying to find the proper cleaners and tools? This is a bad habit that’s easy to change.

Gather together the cleaning supplies you need for each area of the home and store them close to that area. Bathroom cleaners can be placed in a small plastic carryall and stashed on a shelf or under the sink. Create two baskets of supplies if you have upstairs and downstairs bathrooms.

Keep dusting and furniture cleaning products and tools together for quick touch-ups. And, of course, all laundry products should be stored safely in the laundry room.

9. Hoarding Food in the Refrigerator

If you know that your family hates leftovers, then why bother to stash them in the refrigerator? If you are not going to use food promptly, just go ahead and toss it. Improperly stored food promotes mold and bacteria growth and makes cleaning out the refrigerator a much bigger task than it needs to be.

10. Leaving Bed Unmade

Even if the rest of the bedroom is neat and clean, an unmade bed makes it look messy. Just making the bed each morning is a habit that will promote keeping the rest of the room (and maybe the entire house) organized.

Make the task simple by selecting bedding that is easy to spread up neatly. A bed with a simple comforter and pillow shams is much easier to make than one with lots of fussy pillows.

11. Not Reading Directions

Have you ever had to redo a task like cleaning soap scum from tile because the cleaner didn’t work? Maybe you didn’t read the directions.

Most cleaners don’t work instantly and need a bit of time so that the ingredients can break down the soil and lift it so it can be easily wiped or rinsed away. Spend 30 seconds reading the directions to avoid 30 minutes of extra scrubbing.

12. Using Harsh Cleaners

Just like using too much cleaner can be a bad habit, using a cleaner that is too harsh for the job is also wrong. You can do more harm than good if the cleaner strips away finishes or creates hazards for your pets and family.

A good example is chlorine bleach. While it is a good disinfectant, it is not a good dirt and grime remover and the fumes can be toxic. Always use the gentlest cleaning products needed to produce results.

13. Dusting Last When Cleaning

Save yourself some effort by dusting before you vacuum. A room should be cleaned from the top down so the dust lands on the floor to be swept or vacuumed away.

And remember how that one disinfectant wipe can’t effectively clean an entire bathroom? The same goes for a disposable duster. If it has been awhile since you dusted, grab a clean duster when the one you’re using turns a solid grey. You’re no longer trapping dust, you’re just pushing it around with a dirty duster.

14. Not Completing Tasks

We all get interrupted, but try to complete a task once you’ve started it. If you bring out the ironing board, don’t stop for a social media break until all of the ironing is done.

If you only have 15 minutes to clean, start by removing clutter and putting items in their proper place. Then if you get sidetracked, you can come back later to do the deeper cleaning.

15. Waiting Until the Cleaning Job is Overwhelming

Putting off cleaning and waiting until the task has become overwhelming is one of the hardest bad habits to break. Most of us can’t face a disaster and simply avoid it for as long as possible.

But if you and your family do a bit of cleaning each day, like load and empty the dishwasher, complete a load of laundry, and vacuum one or two rooms, then cleaning the entire house will not be so overwhelming.

1. Banana Bread

To this category, we can also add zucchini bread. Both banana and zucchini bread are dense, moist, sweet treats, usually chemically leavened with baking soda or powder. It’s supposed that both of these “quick” breads got their start in the United States, where 18th-century bakers first used pearlash, a refined form of potash, to create carbon dioxide in dough. Today, American bakers search online for banana bread recipes more often than any other bread. It’s so popular, it even has its own holiday: February 23 is National Banana Bread Day.

2. Baguette

Nothing else in the bread family, not even the wonderfully flaky croissant, conjures images of the Eiffel Tower and all things French the way the baguette does. The long, stick-like loaf, also called French bread (thanks to its origins), is made with flour, yeast, water, and salt. From those simple ingredients rises the iconic baguette, distinguished by its chewy crust, feather-light interior, and topside slashes, which allow for gas expansion during baking.

3. Breadstick

Would it really be an Italian meal without a serving of this pencil-thin dry bread sitting atop the table as an appetizer? Much smaller than a baguette, breadsticks are said to have originated in the boot-shaped country in the 17th century. Nowadays, American restaurants sometimes serve them soft and warm, topped with cheese and garlic, or as a dessert, with icing and cinnamon.

4. Brioche

Our tastebuds owe the French a huge debt of gratitude for inventing brioche, a traditionally sweet yeast bread loaded with eggs and butter. People have been enjoying the golden, soft-as-a-pillow pastry forever—the word brioche dates to 1404—and it’s now commonly used as hamburger buns, dinner rolls and even in French toast recipes.

5. Challah

Challah, which is made with eggs and most often braided, is integral to the Jewish faith. Served on the Sabbath and holidays, it was originally called berches before the word challah was adopted in the Middle Ages. The bread continues to carry rich symbolism, from the poppy and sesame seeds sprinkled on top that symbolize manna from God, to the plaited shape, which represents love.

6. Ciabatta

Ciabatta hails from Italy, where the word means “slipper” in the native language. Usually broad, flat and somewhat collapsed in the middle, it’s a lot more flavorful than footwear, and perfect for use in paninis and sandwiches. Unlike most of the bread on this list, this wheat flour-based bread is a recent invention, first produced in 1982.

7. Cornbread

The bread maybe most associated with the region below the Mason-Dixon Line, cornbread originated with Native Americans. Made from finely-ground corn, wheat flour, eggs and milk (or buttermilk), Southern-style cornbread is traditionally baked in a skillet, either unleavened or with baking powder. Crumbly, rich and crispy, this classic cornbread should be enjoyed quickly, because it doesn’t store well.

8. Focaccia

Another bread originating from Italy, focaccia is a flat, dimpled yeast bread resembling pizza dough that’s baked at high temperatures in sheet pans. Often topped with olive oil, rosemary and coarse salt, focaccia’s exact origins are unknown, though it might date back to Ancient Rome. Focaccia’s name is derived from the Latin panis focacius, which means fireplace bread. Modern varieties include savory toppings like olives, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

9. Multigrain Bread

Seemingly, not a lot of creativity went in to naming multigrain bread, since it’s defined simply as bread made from more than one grain. It can include flax, oats, and barley, but be aware that even bread made from wheat and a smidge of flour from a second grain can be called multigrain. If you’re looking for dense, hearty multigrain, which is terrific for sandwiches, be sure to check the label.

10. Pita Bread

Like tortillas and naan, pita is a flatbread. Soft and round, this slightly leavened bread, which originated in the Middle East some 4,000 years ago, is cooked at a high temperature. This causes the dough to puff up, leaving a handy interior pocket when it cools. Goodies like falafel can be stuffed into the pocket, although pitas are also wrapped around ingredients—as in the case of gyros—or used to scoop up dips such as hummus and tzatziki.

11. Pumpernickel

A type of rye bread, flavorful pumpernickel hails from Germany, where it’s made with coarsely ground whole rye berries. The traditional version requires a lot of patience to create, since the recipe calls for baking pumpernickel at a low temperature for as long as 24 hours. Americans typically eschew the marathon oven session, instead producing pumpernickel’s dark hue by adding molasses or coffee.

12. Rye Bread

Crucial to beloved deli sandwiches like pastrami and corned beef-based Reubens, rye bread can come light, medium or dark, depending on which part of the rye berry is used to make the flour. In Europe, bakers tend to use 100% rye flour, while in the U.S., rye bread may be mainly made from wheat flour. Some recipes call for adding caraway or dill seeds on top.

13. Soda Bread

As anyone who seriously celebrates St. Patrick’s Day will tell you, the world’s most legendary soda bread comes courtesy of the Emerald Isle. Recipes vary widely between Ireland and the U.S., but traditional soda bread contains soft wheat flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt. Dense with a thick crust, this bread has a mild flavor, though in the U.S., bakers like to add raisins, giving it a slight sweetness.

14. Sourdough

Thought to have originated in Egypt in 1500 B.C., sourdough bread is created via a long fermenting process using yeasts and lactobacilli that occur naturally. This creates lactic acid, which gives the bread its signature, slightly sour flavor. Sourdough bread, pretty much a trademark food for the San Francisco Bay area, is better for digestion and blood sugar control, as well as more nutritious, than many other kinds of bread.

15. Whole Wheat

Speaking of healthy breads, whole wheat, which is one of a range of whole grain breads, is one of the very best breads for your body. Made from flour that uses the entire grain, including the bran and germ, whole wheat offers more fiber, protein, and vitamins than white bread. It also boasts a richer flavor and aroma.