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.
Featured Book
The Young Wizard's Hexopedia
Search Site
Interactive

Breathing Circle
Music Box Moment
King of Hearts of War and Peace
As I Was, As I Am
Perdition Slip
Loves Me? Loves Me Not?
Wacky Birthday Form
Test Your ESP
Chess-Calvino Dictionary
Amalgamural
Is Today the Day?
100 Ways I Failed to Boil Water
"Follow Your Bliss" Compass
"Fortune's Navigator" Compass
Inkblot Oracle
Luck Transfer Certificate
Eternal Life Coupon
Honorary Italian Grandmother E-card
Simple Answers

Collections

A Fine Line Between...
A Rose is a ...
Always Remember
Ampersands
Annotated Ellipses
Apropos of Nothing
Book of Whispers
Call it a Hunch
Colorful Allusions
Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up?
Disguised as a Christmas Tree
Do-Re-Midi
Don't Take This the Wrong Way
Everybody's Doing This Now
Forgotten Wisdom
Glued Snippets
Go Out in a Blaze of Glory
Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore
How to Believe in Your Elf
I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought
Images Moving Through Time
Indubitably (?)
Inflationary Lyrics
It Bears Repeating
It's Really Happening
Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands
Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led
No News Is Good News
Non-Circulating Books
Nonsense Dept.
Not Rocket Science
Oldest Tricks in the Book
On One Condition
One Mitten Manager
Only Funny If ...
P I n K S L i P
Peace Symbols to Color
Pfft!
Phosphenes
Precursors
Presumptive Conundrums
Puzzles and Games
Constellations
D-ictionary
Film-ictionary
Letter Grids
Tic Tac Toe Story Generator
Which is Funnier
Restoring the Lost Sense
Rhetorical Answers, Questioned
Rhetorical Questions, Answered!
Semicolon Moons
Semicolon's Dream Journal
Simple Answers
Someone Should Write a Book on ...
Something, Defined
Staring at the Sun
Staring Into the Depths
Strange Dreams
Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out
Telescopic Em Dashes
The 40 Most Meaningful Things
The Ghost In The [Scanning] Machine
The Only Certainty
The Right Word
This May Surprise You
This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea
Two Sides / Same Coin
Uncharted Territories
Unicorns
Yearbook Weirdness
Yesterday's Weather
Your Ship Will Come In

Archives

September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006

Links

Magic Words
Jonathan Caws-Elwitt
Martha Brockenbrough
Gordon Meyer
Dr. Boli
Serif of Nottingblog
dbqp
Phantasmaphile
Joe Brainard's Pyjamas
Ironic Sans
Brian Sibley's Blog
Neat-o-Rama
Abecedarian personal effects of 'a mad genius'
A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
Colorful Allusions

Though printed in black and white, great literature is bursting with vibrant colour. In these rebus-style puzzles, color words and parts of words have been replaced with colored boxes. Try to guess the exact hue of each. Roll your mouse over the colored boxes to reveal the missing words. Click the colored boxes to learn more about each hue. Special thanks to Paul Dean for his colorful research.

September 27, 2016 (permalink)

Here's an example of how "steam cauldrons and fiery serpent flambeaux" in addition to "the happy effect of orange colored cloister lanterns" and "flaring gas and ruby steam cauldrons and torches on the tower" heighten the feeling of mystery in a courtyard at night.  From the Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences, 1917.  It's "a section of the Court of Abundance, showing the organ tower and Aitken fountain."
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

September 19, 2016 (permalink)

From c. 1890.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

September 5, 2016 (permalink)

"The world is more vast than printers' ink can illustrate" (said The Wilkes-Barre Record in 1892), and apparently Bell Telephone Magazine concurred in 1972.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

August 31, 2016 (permalink)

Here's an example of "the creation of mystery in the lighting of open courts," from the Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences, 1917.  The "third dimension in light" is achieved through a combination of white flood light and color relief light.  The scintillator and fireworks were approximately one-third of a mile in the background."
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

August 29, 2016 (permalink)

The colors of "any reasonable rainbow" include "white for inside and outside."  From c. 1890.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

August 18, 2016 (permalink)

Scanned by the San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

June 12, 2016 (permalink)

The Top Ten Unpaintable Blues:
The far mountains of Bertraghboy Bay, Ireland.
"In the intense cold of late evening the further shores of Bertraghboy Boy seemed to catch and hold the last of the sunlight, the seawrack below high-water line glowing orange, the walled fields above burnished green, the far mountains an unpaintable blue." (The Crying of the Wind)
The New Mexico desert sky.
"I awoke in the desert of New Mexico to behold golden sand, golden grass, green-gold sage brush, golden wastes, vast, craggy, creviced, cliff-sided buttes rising turret-like, a wide domain bounded by purple mountains and unpaintable blue sky." (Robert Jackson, Montreal Gazette)
Twilight in the California desert.
"Strewn from the western desert's wild wings across the unpaintable blue of the twilight sky stream rose-red pennants, tender yet resplendent—not the washed out hue of other sunset skies but the soul satisfying glory of color the desert sky alone can show." (The Desert and the Rose)
The mountains of Moab.
"The intense blue belt of water beyond, terminating in the clear, soft tones of the indescribable, unpaintable blue mountains of Moab." (Excavations at Jerusalem, 1894-1897)
The shore of ancient Kamiros, Rhodes.
"You look down from the central plinth across a winding main street backed by the taut hard unpaintable blue of the sea, and the smoky chunks of the Turkish mainland." (Spirit of Place: Letters and Essays on Travel)
The Azorean ocean.
"Then there is the intense blue of the Ocean.  I have never seen such deep, completely unpaintable blue before.  It is so different from the opaque grayish waves that hit the coast of Holland." (Pieter Adriaans, "Painting on the Azores")
Someone other than Brittany's irises.
"She can't see any tiger gold or unpaintable blue in Brittany's irises." ("Full Moon on a Sunday Night," Part One)
The sky over Portland, Oregon.
"The air is crisp and the sky is unpaintable blue." (Scott Conary)
The blue sky anywhere.
"Ruskin says that a blue sky is unpaintable — blue fire he calls it, and unpaintable — and yet Australians cannot accept this." (Plein Airs and Graces: The Life and Times of George Collingridge)
The Huxtable kitchen.
"[I]n all its badly-hung, unpaintable, powder-blue glory."  (Andy Peters)
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

June 1, 2016 (permalink)

Even when it comes to colors, what's "normal" tends to be a gray area.  From A Class-Book of Color by Mark Maycock, 1895.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

May 31, 2016 (permalink)

What do "fifty shades of grey" have to do with the Wizard of Oz?  One might think that in the Oz spectrum, ruby (slipper) is connected to emerald (city) by yellow (brick road).  However, there are actually fifty shades of grey between ruby and emerald.  (Spoiler: it's the fifty shades of Toto's coat of many colors.)
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

May 11, 2016 (permalink)

Here's the difference between red days, white days, and blue days, from Salem College's Sights and Sounds yearbook, 1918.  (For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.)
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

March 25, 2016 (permalink)

"Flat tint colors. . . to dramatize you."  Scanned by the Boston Public Library.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

March 3, 2016 (permalink)

The illustrations in Passages in the Life of Blue Beard (1872) feature hand-tinted blue beards.

Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

February 21, 2016 (permalink)

"The beams and pulses of the colored lights allowed us to see what was going on but not reconstruct it in our minds.  This is the astute discovery such night spots have made." César Aira (as translated by Katherine Silver), The Literary Conference

Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

February 8, 2016 (permalink)

Forget whether or not an artificially propagated rainbow trout will lead to an empty pot of gold.  Forget whether or not "A rainbow is a rainbow.  A striped perch is a striped perch" (as purported by Monkeyface News).  Celebrate only that a book about rainbow trout was penned by a seagull.

Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

January 22, 2016 (permalink)

From L'Arche de Noé by Paul Guigou and Auguste Vimar, 1909.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

November 17, 2015 (permalink)


A detail of a photo by G. Meyer.

There's an ancient Shinto koan (and nevermind that "Shinto koan" is a Googlewhack): "What are the colors of the cones?"  (Even before traffic cones, conical stalagmites sported white, red, orange, and black coloration from iron and other deposits.  Our colored traffic cones are like distant memories of our cave-dwelling ancestors.)  What the koan is getting at, of course, is that what we call colors are merely words; while lightwaves have objective properties, color is not one of them but rather is created subjectively by one's brain.

Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

November 8, 2015 (permalink)

The mysterious color "Dr. Q. Drab" turns out to be a Googlewhack!  From Painters' Mixing Manual & Sample Book, 1895.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

October 29, 2015 (permalink)

"Rushing to the door he wrenched it open, and plunged forward into a red vacancy," from Ghosts, Being the Experiences of Flaxman Low by Kate O'Brien Prichard and illustrated by B. E. Minns, 1899.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

October 16, 2015 (permalink)

Here are the colors of "Charles B. Stilz, President," which we acquired from nine ink stamped signatures in the Journals of the Common Council of the City of Indianapolis, 1912.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

October 8, 2015 (permalink)

Thanks to poet William Keckler for saying, "Craig Conley's web incarnation, with its meta-dance moves, can always take me from a blue funk to a pink tipsiness in a matter of minutes."
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest



Page 1 of 13

> Older Entries...

Original Content Copyright © 2016 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.