Perspectives

"I fear we're losing this cruel race against time."

U.N. emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland, on delays in delivering aid to victims of the South Asian earthquake, which killed as many as 40,000

"We need to end this crisis. We need law in the country. I am worn out by new parliaments. I am tired of new governments. We want progress. We don't want to go backward."

Iraqi merchant Dhiaa Hussein, on voting Saturday for a new constitution

"The tipping point in Washington is when you go from being a subject of caricature to the subject of laughter. She's in danger of becoming the subject of laughter."

Bruce Fein, a Republican critic of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, on the release of her sometimes fawning and stilted correspondence with President Bush

"It looks like a perfect storm. People have no idea what happens when an investigation gets underway... It's not just distracting. It's debilitating. It's like getting punched in the stomach."

Former independent counsel Joseph E. diGenova, a Republican, on the series of scandals the White House is facing

"When we started this two and a half years ago, people looked at us cross-eyed. SARS was just our two-minute warning. It showed how things can spread rapidly."

Dr. Ronald Brown, founder of AeroClave, an Orlando, Fla., company testing a product that can kill airborne viruses on airplanes, including avian flu

"Chinese is strategic in a way that a lot of other languages aren't... Planning to be ready to engage with them rather than only thinking of them in terms of a challenge or a competitor is the smart thing to do."

Defense Language Institute adviser Scott McGinnis, on the rising popularity of Chinese classes in public schools

"That individual may never, ever be identified."

Louisiana state coroner Louis Cataldie, on the most difficult case he has worked after Katrina: a woman who floated for miles and was gnawed on by animals

"Some of the allegations, myths and rumors that have grown up around the service, such as conspiracy theories that Princess Diana was murdered, are so ridiculous that they need to be corrected."

MI6 spokesman Nev Johnson, on the supersecretive British spy agency's launch of a public Web site, which will also serve as a recruiting tool

Reader Dale Brewer of St. Joseph, Mich., submitted this quote:

"I don't even wear a swimsuit. I always wear blue jeans when I swim. My butt hasn't seen the sun in 45 years."

Cassopolis, Mich., farmer Bill Westrate, on his initial reluctance to pose nude for a "Homegrown in Cass County" calendar to raise money for the local conservation district