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.
I Found a Penny Today, So Here’s a Thought

Today — July 24, 2017 (permalink)

Now this is odd -- The Oddest of All Oddities by Oddicurious, 1810.
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July 21, 2017 (permalink)

What constitutes daydreams?  Days and Dreams, of course.  (Madison Julius Cawein, 1891).
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July 18, 2017 (permalink)

Meister Eckhart said that "Heaven is at all points equidistant from earth."  How far, exactly?  "My heaven is always only an inch away from the world" (Collage of Seoul by Jae Newman, 2015).

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Here we learn that "if a ghost's head were suddenly twisted off from his shoulders, and were at once stuck fast to some other part of his filmy frame, especially to one of his hips or thighs, his power for mischief was gone for ever."  From The Complete Poetical Works of Theodore Tilton, 1897.
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July 17, 2017 (permalink)

If it's true that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, then it only makes sense that a Shoemaker would venture Eastward to the Land of the Morning (Michael Myers Shoemaker, 1893).
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July 14, 2017 (permalink)

"Poisonous gases used to dislodge desperado."  From Popular Mechanics, 1914.
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July 13, 2017 (permalink)

The lovely song "Autumn's Edge" by Xeno & Oaklander got us wondering what else happens at autumn's edge.  Here's what we discovered in the literature:

At autumn's edge ...

In the photo, note that it's autumn on the right side of the road and summer on the left.  The painted line on the road marks autumn's edge.
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July 12, 2017 (permalink)

You've heard of authors who put everything they know into their first books.  Here's A Drama and Poems; Also Inventions and Suggestions by W J. Bryant, 1879.
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July 11, 2017 (permalink)

There must be some comfort in knowing that most of life's unexpected farces play out in a single act.  This is So Sudden! A Farce in One Act by MacPherson Janney, 1918.
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July 8, 2017 (permalink)

The play Expense No Object, by Sam Janney (1918) went up ten cents (though performances were free).
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July 6, 2017 (permalink)

Though provocatively titled, Camp Fire Sparks is not an incitement to burn books.
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July 4, 2017 (permalink)

"Defects of undestanding."  From Thoughts on the Conduct of the Understanding by Basil Montagu, 1849.
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July 2, 2017 (permalink)

Reblog if you, too, don't like doing things at regular times, like having odd meals with odd people in odd places, and like meeting strangers in little pubs who produce the philosopher's stone from their pockets.  From The Immaterial Murder Case by Julian Symons, 1945.  [Thanks Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for the recommendation!]
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"Haunted by the ghosts of the books I haven't read.  Poor uneasy spirits, they walk and walk around me.  There's only one way to lay the ghost of a book, and that is to read it."  From The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley, 1919.
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June 24, 2017 (permalink)

Done out of French.
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June 18, 2017 (permalink)

Some of the best discourses are in the form of skeletons.  By Charles Simeon, 1820.
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June 17, 2017 (permalink)

A spirit message written via a planchette: "'Aide-toi le ciel t'aidera' (Help yourself and Heaven will help you)."  From The Vanished Friend: Evidence, Theoretical and Practical, of the Survival of Human Identity After Death by Jules Thiébault, 1920.
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June 15, 2017 (permalink)

Do ghosts speak in all-vowel words?  Who better to know than someone named Vowles!  The Question of Apparitions and Supernatural Voices Considered by William Vowles, 1814.
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June 14, 2017 (permalink)

Mediciluxe asks: "Left field question, but I'd like to know your take: does free will exist, and to the degree it does or does not, how does it operate?  I apologize for not scaling a mountain before inquiring into the nature of reality, it feels a bit like I'm skipping steps here."
Through the course of our studies we've read many compelling philosophies about the existence and operation of free will.  Our own take on the matter might best be summarized by the Dakota conception of the confluence of the four winds, depicting how those forces interact with human passions and divine influences.  It seems that there are all sorts of willpowers in probable conflict, with changeable weather on top of it all.  No wonder it so often feels that one has no personal control.
The Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of Ethnology explains that the pictured cross shape is carried far back in tradition and myth and "represents to the Dakota the four winds, which issue from the four caverns in which the souls of men existed before their incarnation in the human body.  All medicine men, i.e., conjurers and magicians, recollect their previous dreamy life in those places and the instructions then received from the gods, demons, and sages.  They recollect and describe their preexistent life, but only dream and speculate as to the future life beyond the grave.
"The top of the cross is the cold all-conquering giant, the North-wind, most powerful of all.  It is worn on the body nearest the head, the seat of intelligence and conquering devices.
"The right arm covers the heart; it is the East-wind, coming from the seat of life and love.
"The foot is the melting burning South-wind, indicating, as it is worn, the seat of fiery passion.
"The left arm is the gentle West-wind, blowing from the spirit land, covering the lungs, from which the breath at last goes out, gently, but into unknown night.
"The center of the cross is the earth and man, moved by the conflicting influences of the gods and winds."
(Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1888-89, pp. 724-25.)
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June 13, 2017 (permalink)

One-Thousand-Leaves wrote, "Your blog is neat. Thanks for making it and sharing it with us."

We appreciate the kind words!  By the way (in case you didn’t already know), your name, “One Thousand Leaves,” is an anagram of “Nosh a sautéed novel.”

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