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.
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.

March 19, 2014 (permalink)

We're tickled that a photo of our rainbow bookshelves illustrates these sentences in an English lesson: "My bookcase is a mess.  I need to sort out my books."



January 19, 2014 (permalink)

Thanks to Gordon Meyer (of Smart Home Hacks fame), who for years has stocked our minimalist coloring book (complete with white crayon) at Quimby's bookstore.  Here's a photo of Gordon's presentation:



October 1, 2013 (permalink)

"It's this October softening the burning sun that fills the air with a new element, an element like a great melted pearl, through which you see everything." —John Cowper Powys, Porius


Our illustration is a collage of elements by spettacolopuro, amboo who?, and Iguanasan.

August 10, 2013 (permalink)

Did we ever mention that our color palette "Moonlit Black Swan" is featured on page 166 of Color Inspirations?




August 9, 2013 (permalink)

"It struck me that it was different in colour": a black-and-white illustration from The Quiver, 1879.



August 8, 2013 (permalink)

"Poems come in two colors: grey and beige (ecru having been killed off a few years back)."
Geof Huth


Photo courtesy of Rhian.

May 29, 2013 (permalink)

Try not to think about the purple elephant with green stripes.  This specimen was accidentally colorized by Google's scanning machine.  From McClure's magazine, 1904.  The "moire" the merrier!



May 8, 2013 (permalink)

"The pace of time depends on how it was lived; the present is black and white while the memory is blue."
Gian Enzo Sperone: Torino-Roma-New York, 2000.

[For Jeff.]

April 12, 2013 (permalink)

"Golden sunshine, golden wine, golden hair, golden coin.  There is a magic charm in yellow, m'sieur.  Ah, but there is.  I know.  Red is bewitching; it is daring, inspiring.  But yellow—it enthuses, tantalizes, lulls."
—Izola L. Forrester, "The Yellow Domino," The Idler (1904)



October 5, 2012 (permalink)



A still from the Scottish comedy brilliance known as Burnistoun.

July 24, 2012 (permalink)

We love this unspoken rainbow in Bananarama's song "Waterfall":

It's like a waterfall coming down
Your love it just shines through me like the sun

Similarly:

"You’ve painted time with an unspoken rainbow of gold." —T. Rue

In an amazing coincidence (or was it a coincidence?) our tech wizard friend Gordon (of Smart Home Hacks fame) sent us, without explanation, magic beads that turn color in sunlight -- an unspoken rainbow if we ever heard/saw one!  (See photo below.)

Meanwhile, did you know that "colored stripes of some description" is a Googlewhack?  For that matter, so is "mysterious colors in the air."



April 13, 2012 (permalink)

In a letter to historian and mocker of superstition William Harnett Blanch, the illumined Oscar Wilde wrote, "I love superstitions.  They are the colour element of thought and imagination  They are the opponents of common sense.  Common sense is the enemy of romance.  The aim of your society [a club serving 13 courses, with ladders to walk under, mirrors to break, black cats, and so forth] seems to be dreadful.  Leave us some unreality" (qtd. in Phil Baker's biography of Austin Osman Spare).


Photo by Sarah Sosiak.

December 9, 2011 (permalink)

Gordon spotted our Minimalist Coloring Book at Chicago's Quimby's Bookstore, sitting next to The Penny Man.  The pairing is apropos, as minimalists surely have to watch their pennies.



September 2, 2011 (permalink)

An illustration from a 1910 issue of Hampton's magazine.  The caption reads: "Who can ever doubt the magic potency of black?"



August 27, 2011 (permalink)

"In the most blessed, the most beautiful state the human race can attain[,] [e]ach one of us would grow in a different way, no one would be like anyone else, everyone would be a crystal, would think and feel in different colours and images, would love and hate differently, as the spirit within wants us to.  It must have been Satan himself, the enemy of all colorful diversity, who thought up the slogan that all men are equal."
—Gustav Meyrink, The White Dominican

June 25, 2011 (permalink)

Thanks to Dornob Designs for featuring three photos of our rainbow bookshelves in their piece entitled "Sublime Spectra: 3 Bookcases Neatly Sorted by Book Colors":

http://dornob.com/sublime-spectra-3-bookcases-neatly-sorted-by-book-colors/

June 23, 2011 (permalink)

Thanks to Myrna Mackenzie for featuring our color-coded bookshelves in her piece on "Amazing Bookcases":

http://www.myrnamackenzie.com/2011/06/amazing-bookcases.html



June 2, 2011 (permalink)




May 3, 2011 (permalink)

We're often asked why we organize our home library by color.  Truth be told, it's personal.  Our 3rd cousin 16 generations back, King Kenry VIII of England, organized the 329 volumes in his Greenwich Palace library by color.*

*This is noted in Katherine the Queen, Linda Porter's fascinating biography of Katherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII.



March 27, 2011 (permalink)

"Faint songs visited my ears, and the gray day was only gray like a dove's breast."
—Mary Johnston, 1492 (via Gary Barwin)





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