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

May 22, 2019 (permalink)

"Stop digging your grave with your knife and fork!"  From The Judge, 1922.
#cautionary #diet #improper food #unhealthy food
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May 15, 2019 (permalink)

We wrote this article for Secret Art Journal.
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May 7, 2019 (permalink)

"Everything is personal; everything is political. We are trained to see the personal, the psychological (although our psychological understanding is usually pretty unsophisticated). We are less able to see the political; in life as in art, much energy is devoted towards blurring the political meaning of events, or even that events have a political meaning." —Theatre Times, 1986
"More or less personal": a headline from the Northwestern Christian Advocate, 1921.
#vintage headline #it's personal
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April 20, 2019 (permalink)

From Nelson and Davey's adaptation of James Joyce's The Dead.
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April 17, 2019 (permalink)

"With its stars of ink the book is a universe in motion which our eyes fix." —Edmond Jabès, "Counter Test" (via Gary Barwin).
#reading #universe #stars #book #Edmond Jabès #Edmond Jabe?s
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April 15, 2019 (permalink)

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March 23, 2019 (permalink)

You don't get to the fruit until Book II of Cherry Ripe! (1878).
#old book #cherry
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March 20, 2019 (permalink)

This is what we think when critics attempt to mar our workmanship.  "Could it be dissemination of some wicked defamation of our blameless reputation by some imp of hell's creation?"  From the Ole Miss yearbook of 1898.
#vintage yearbook #defamation #criticism #haters
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March 16, 2019 (permalink)

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March 7, 2019 (permalink)

It's as true today as it was in 1922: "Characters from books have a high old time."  From Dry Goods Economist, 1922.
#literary characters #vintage headline
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February 28, 2019 (permalink)

Have you ever encountered an old list, in your own handwriting, that you have absolutely no memory of?  Our most dedicated reader shared this one.  The items read:
  • Hiccup cures
  • Lessons to be learned from rest[aurant] servers
  • How to spot a threatening cloud
  • Deeper meaning of bad dreams
  • Building materials that can fit in your pocket
  • Books that offer a good explanation of things
  • Haikus
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February 26, 2019 (permalink)

From our 21st cousin, Emily Dickinson, quoted in Mansfield's 1969 yearbook.
#poetry #afterlife #emily dickinson
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February 20, 2019 (permalink)

"You want to go into the desert and learn higher magic, nebbich, when you … cannot distinguish a Hall of Riddles from the real world and do not even suspect that the books of life contain something other than what is written on the spine?" —Gustav Meyrink, The Green Face

#portal #magick #occult #prof. oddfellow #gustav meyrink #cowboy hat
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February 11, 2019 (permalink)

Studying by moonlight.  The book, Cemetery Maps, was a gift from our friend Gordon.
#cemetery #magick #necromancy #occult #prof. oddfellow #moonlight
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Alive to those suggestions of a mysterious sphere of being that come to the man who of a night has watched the pearly grey of the weather-gleam.  From The Feeling for Nature in Scottish Poetry, Vol. 2, 1887.
#twilight #gloaming #mysterious
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February 6, 2019 (permalink)

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February 4, 2019 (permalink)

From our guide to the palmistry of the "Don't Walk" hand at intersections: Crossroads Chiromancy: The Secrets of the Glowing Red Hands:

An illuminated hand to render people motionless?  The “Hand of Glory” is the precursor to the “Don’t Walk” signal at traffic intersections.  This occult horror of seventeenth century Europe required the dried and pickled hand of a hanged man, prepared with fat from the malefactor’s corpse.  Such a baneful candelabrum, when lighted, rendered motionless any person who saw it.  In some grotesque recipes, the hair of the dead man is used as a wick.  

hand of gloryCrucially, laying the Hand of Glory at a crossroads is part of its preparation.  An illuminated hand at an intersection, stopping people dead in their tracks.  No wonder this treatise on crossroads chiromancy is necessary.  The old ways never actually faded—they merely hid behind new masks.  The higher the technology, the deeper the necromancy.

#occult #esoteric #hand #hand of glory #dead man's hand #don't walk
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January 24, 2019 (permalink)

"Remember the week-day to keep it holy."  From Pasteboard Proclivities by Elbert Hubbard, 1909.
#holy day #weekday
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January 22, 2019 (permalink)

"Some must take the good and some the evil / Dropped from either wing of this strange angel."  From "Al Hassan's Secret," in The Bird and the Bell by Christopher Pearse Cranch, 1890
#good and evil #poetry #angel wings #strange angel
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Original Content Copyright © 2019 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.