CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
Today — March 29, 2017

This May Surprise You (permalink)

Here are two strange book dedications, one to "the little white bird with many eyes" and the other to "the nonbiting gnat" with many antennae.  The first is from The Mysteries of Mesmeric Or Magnetic Influence, as Extended Over the Mineral and Animal Kingdoms, Developed and Explained by Facts Collected from the Customs of the Ancients, the Traditions of Our Forefathers, and the Daily Experience of Modern Research. Also Ample Directions for the Full Acquirement of Its Marvellous Powers by a Lady, 1850.  The second is from Cursive Numbers.

 

> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
""Man-made star guides flyers.  Civilization is constantly reaching back into the centuries for old ideas to meet modern needs."  From Popular Mechanics, 1930.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the novelty "invisible dog leash."  From Jugend, 1911.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"Down with sweating."  From Pick Me Up, 1897.
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"It required four men to hold the patient to the operating table, and six more to keep the surgeons from being hurled away by the violent plunges of the ship."  From Popular Mechanics, 1919. 
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
It was determined in 1855 that Australia was a mistake.
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
From Edgar Allan Poe's Arthur Gordon Pym.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"The sea is a cruel mistress. Yet again the sea has behaved unconscionably. It's time to address this terrible problem that is the sea." —Captain Neddie, from the hilarious BBC series Broken News
> read more from This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"You are a leopard!  Down on all fours!  Down instantly!"  From Everybody's Magazine, 1908.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Die Muskete, 1910.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Simple Answers (permalink)
"The simple answer is, 'No, I cannot.'" —Managing Corporate Design
If this is not the answer you’re looking for,
click here for a different answer.
> read more from Simple Answers . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"You felt that he had travelled ways you could never travel, that he had had dreams beyond you."  From English Illustrated, 1894.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's the cholera demon, from Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1885.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Fun magazine, 1885.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)
From Hunter College's Wistarion yearbook, 1911.   See How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
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Only Funny If ... (permalink)
Laughing at a private joke, from Roemer Visscher's Drawings for the Sinnepoppen (c. 1614).
> read more from Only Funny If ... . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The age-old conundrum: which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Our illustration is from Biology and Man by Benjamin Gruenberg, 1944.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
"The 'Reversus like an eel,' as represented by Aldrovandi in 'De Piscibus,' 1638."  Reproduced in the Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, 1915.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"The sea is a cruel mistress. Yet again the sea has behaved unconscionably. It's time to address this terrible problem that is the sea." —Captain Neddie, from the hilarious BBC series Broken News
> read more from This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Wiener Revue, 1946.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Is Today The Day? (permalink)
29
March 2017

“Today is the day to prepare against becoming senile and decrepit.”

—Paul Chappuis Bragg, Apple Cider Vinegar Miracle Health System, 2003

From the outrageous to the inspirational to the hilarious, here’s a daily reminder to break out of the old grind and do something unexpected, for the fun, the challenge, or the heck of it.

If today simply isn’t your day, click here to have a different day.


Music Box Moment (permalink)
Do you deserve a nostalgic breather?  Through the delicate workings of the music box, even the most dramatic compositions seem to play only for you.  You’ll hear even a very familiar piece in a whole new way.  Courtesy of home recording pioneer Ken Clinger, here’s today’s music box selection.  It will sound surprisingly good even through built-in computer speakers, and it will cut through the ambient noise of the office without being distracting.

Featured in Today’s Music Box:
Round (Mizell)
performed by Ken Clinger
If you could use another Music Box Moment, choose a piece:


Today’s Color Palette: Piecing Whispers (more info)
Piecing Whispers is the name of the color palette featured today, created by Sluz. The palette consists of the following colors:

• hex #86E675 — The Book of Whispers
• hex #CF024D — Secrets Revealed
• hex #2B0714 — For Those Who Are
• hex #B1E8A7 — Not Seeking
• hex #448272 — To Gather

This palette was created in honor of my Book of Whispers.
> learn more about this palette at ColourLovers . . .


There’s a Signpost Up Ahead (permalink)
One's life path is marked by crossroads and signposts.  If you are confronted with making a choice today, perhaps the signpost displayed here will help to characterize your situation and guide you to make a decision.  If you need more guidance, refresh this page for another symbol.  If both signs are the same, perhaps any choice will lead to the same outcome.

The signs are inspired by a system of symbols entitled "Spiritual Diagnosis," developed by Dr. Robert McNary of Montana.  Dr. McNary actually creates nine-faceted mandala charts for people and interprets the symbols with uncanny accuracy.  Dr. McNary's web site is RockyMountainAstrologer.com.
> view a larger version of your signpost . . .
Yesterday — March 28, 2017

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Noiseless city is predicted within ten years."  From 1931.  The naiveté would be quaint were Popular Mechanics not so excruciatingly, sickeningly smug about the religion it makes of Big Science.
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Jugend, 1909.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Original Content Copyright © 2017 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.