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
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Professor Oddfellow's Forgotten Wisdom

Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon. Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.

August 20, 2015 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook.  The text reads: "A Norwegian fjord tent for the bookish.  This tent (unlabeled) appears in Norway in 1848 and 1849 by Thomas Forester."

August 19, 2015 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

"Insomnia, the muse with staring eyes." —Machado de Assis, Dom Casmurro

August 3, 2015 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

The text reads: "The pipes in pipe dreams are made from gold.*  It's all the stops that keep things in the realm of wishful thinking."

*as discovered by Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.

July 16, 2015 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

"The teacup may harbor the tempest, but the creamer curdles first."  [Inspired by our favorite pun-and-ink artist, Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.]

July 11, 2015 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

To our knowlege, ours is the first depiction of the Eye of Horus as an acorn (and we'll allow the "why" of it to remain mysterious for now).

May 25, 2015 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

The text reads, "There's no such thing as an "inverted pentagram."  The so-called inverted pentagram is merely an upright pentagram tilted 36 degrees.  Indeed, there's no such thing as an inverted pentagram, for such is a mathematical impossibility."

May 5, 2015 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

Planet X (a.k.a. Nibiru) is an anagram of "Next Alp."

April 13, 2015 (permalink)

The text reads, "At the center of a helix lies a pitchfork.  (An unretouched diagram of a wireless telegraph receiving system, 1883.)"

April 6, 2015 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

Viewed under a microscope, religions are composed of ions.

March 4, 2015 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

The text reads, "There are two major forces in society: love, which multiplies the species, and the nose, which subordinates it to the individual.  Procreation, equilibrium." —Machado de Assis, Epitaph of a Small Winner

February 24, 2015 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

Sherlock Holmes’ Ascertainment of the Chemical Elements of Purity

The text reads:

1. Hold up two empty test tubes to the light. Note that the first contains two parts of fiction to one of truth, the other merely impotence.

2. Shake, then pour the contents into a glass globe.

3. Empty the contents of the globe and stir the remaining vacuum reflectively.

4. Drain off the vacuum and throw it away, leaving only the hole in space where the vacuum had been.

5. Remove the hole, leaving only the space.

6. Seize the contents of the space where the hole had been which had been left by the vacuum; remove the contents; remove that, and hold the result up to the light. Purity!

[As revealed in Corey Ford’s Three Rousing Cheers for the Rollo Boys, 1925]

December 25, 2014 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

"Christmas tree" is an anagram of "Hermetic stars."

December 15, 2014 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

"There is no string around a ghost's finger." —William Keckler

Part of the context:

Death must be a ghost's second childhood.
It wanders far like a kite, then the string breaks.
It abandons the human form's cold bathtub.
There is no string around a ghost's finger.

December 11, 2014 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

The text reads, "Each pea in a pod is engirdled by an imaginary line corresponding to the great circles of our celestial sphere.  This can be verified by anyone who wishes to take the trouble."

Our piece was inspired by an illustration in Illustrated British Ballads, Old and New, 1894.  Its caption reads, "Now when they got as far as the equator, they'd nothing left but one split pea."  That pea must have been split equatorially, eh?

December 10, 2014 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook.  [Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiring this one.  The hyphenated luminaries are, of course, in his honor.]

December 2, 2014 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook.  [Inspired by and for William Keckler.]  The text reads, "It would be wrong of us to interrupt the cat seance."

November 28, 2014 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

The text reads, "Our soul is in the eye, and when we open it, it escapes and becomes the universe.  You will see everything in the line diagram of a biology book."  —Stanley Crawford, Travel Notes

November 25, 2014 (permalink)

The text reads, "The secret to getting back on one's feet lies in simple inversion.  Cats famously land on their feet by using a pinhole to project an inverted image."  [For the Wild Swan.]

November 21, 2014 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

The world is figuratively one's oyster, and "the world may undoubtedly be an oyster, though to whom it would belong, to whom it would be answerable in that capacity, is a great deal less certain.  It's something that will have to remain a matter for conjecture until science comes up with a definitive answer." —N.F. Simpson, If So, Then Yes

November 7, 2014 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

In strict accordance with Newton's third law of mechanical toys, every jack-in-the-box triggers an equal but opposite reaction.

[For HBG2 and the Disneyland Haunted Mansion pop-up ghosts.]

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