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.
"As is well known, women and birds are able to see without turning their heads, and that is indeed a necessary provision, for they are both surrounded by enemies." From The Demi-gods by James Stephens, 1921.
This old Moorish house in the tropics was destroyed by two hurricanes, but what remains is beyond bizarre. Like some sort of wizard's museum, every wall features strange niches protected by antique iron grates, containing things like bottled ghosts, imprisoned gargoyles, hoodoo shrines, haunted radios, and crystal balls. Plus, one of the great secrets of alchemy is hidden in plain view.
The Popular Mechanics headline writer put the word magic in quotations, though other headlines about so-called scientific wizardry and miracles don't feature quotation marks. "Indian medicine men still practice 'magic' among Canadian tribes." From Popular Mechanics, 1934.
Though these words apply eerily to a crystal ball, J. Milton Sanders is actually referring to a drop of water in The Crystal Sphere, Its Forces and Its Beings, 1857. "Agencies are seen—like winged spirits of infinite power, each one working in its own peculiar way, and all to a common end—to produce, under the guidance of Omnipotent rule, the sheen of the midnight stars."
"There at last he was free and forever from those halls hung with enigmas, tapestried with tears, before which the sphinx in fight gallops like a jackal." The final line in The Ghost Girl by Edgar Saltus, 1922.
Eerily, this passage seems to describe our very own sanctum!