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
Select Creations
Search Site

Breathing Circle
Music Box Moment
Perdition Slip
Loves Me? Loves Me Not?
Wacky Birthday Form
Test Your ESP
Chess-Calvino Dictionary
Is Today the Day?
100 Ways I Failed to Boil Water
"Follow Your Bliss" Compass
"Fortune's Navigator" Compass
Inkblot Oracle
Luck Transfer Certificate
Eternal Life Coupon
Honorary Italian Grandmother E-card
Simple Answers


A Fine Line Between...
A Rose is a ...
Always Remember
Annotated Ellipses
Apropos of Nothing
Book of Whispers
Call it a Hunch
Colorful Allusions
Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up?
Disguised as a Christmas Tree
Don't Take This the Wrong Way
Everybody's Doing This Now
Forgotten Wisdom
Glued Snippets
Go Out in a Blaze of Glory
Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore
I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought
Images Moving Through Time
Indubitably (?)
Inflationary Lyrics
It Bears Repeating
It's Really Happening
Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands
Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led
No News Is Good News
Nonsense Dept.
Not Rocket Science
Oldest Tricks in the Book
On One Condition
One Mitten Manager
Only Funny If ...
P I n K S L i P
Peace Symbols to Color
Presumptive Conundrums
Puzzles and Games
Letter Grids
Tic Tac Toe Story Generator
Which is Funnier
Restoring the Lost Sense
Rhetorical Questions, Answered!
Semicolon Moons
Semicolon's Dream Journal
Simple Answers
Someone Should Write a Book on ...
Something, Defined
Staring at the Sun
Staring Into the Depths
Strange Dreams
Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out
Telescopic Em Dashes
The 40 Most Meaningful Things
The Ghost In The [Scanning] Machine
The Only Certainty
The Right Word
This May Surprise You
This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea
Two Sides / Same Coin
Uncharted Territories
Yesterday's Weather
Your Ship Will Come In


November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006


Magic Words
Monkeys 1, Typewriters 0
Dr. Boli
Serif of Nottingblog
Tonya Harding Shot
Lord Whimsy
April Winchell
DJ Misc
Joe Brainard's Pyjamas
J-Walk Blog
Ironic Sans
Ursi's Blog
Brian Sibley's Blog
World of Wonder
Abecedarian personal effects of 'a mad genius'
A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up?

November 19, 2014 (permalink)

The cartels have been maintaining a high level since at least 1884, as we see in The Doctor's Family by Henry Frith.

October 22, 2014 (permalink)

One of the Earl of Sandwich's closest allies was the Earl of Mayo.  From The Land of Temples (India), 1882.

September 15, 2014 (permalink)

"It was Edward ..." but now it's Mister Ed, eh?  From Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, 1896.

August 14, 2014 (permalink)

Badminton has always been big in Nyangwe. From Across Africa by Verney Lovett Cameron (1885).

July 30, 2014 (permalink)

You've heard of "forced perspective," but we call this unusual effect "horsed perspective."  From Across France in a Caravan by George Nugent Bankes, 1892.

July 20, 2014 (permalink)

This image inspired an additional caption: "Back in my day, even taking a break was miles away."  From Through Connemara in a Governess Cart by Edith Somerville, 1893.

July 4, 2014 (permalink)

The "standard sheet" flag was a revolution against the king-size.  (Our image is from The National Hand-book of American Progress by Erastus Otis Haven, 1876.  The caption reads, "Forever float that standard sheet.")

July 2, 2014 (permalink)

Courtesy of literary scalawag Jonathan Caws-Elwitt:

"My meditation coach and I just couldn't get along. Last week I got really annoyed with him, and yesterday he said he thought it would be best if we terminated the relationship."

"Oh, that's too bad. I hope there weren't any hard feelings."

"Well, I'm not so sure. His last words to me were, 'As you exit this phase of your life, be mindful of the space between the gate into the next part of your journey and that part of yourself which trails behind.'"


"So... I think that translates into, 'Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.'"

March 22, 2014 (permalink)

The scale here is one inch to one Inch. From Craigmillar and its Environs by Thomas Speedy (1892).  The caption reads: "The Inch house as it was."

March 17, 2014 (permalink)

"He devoted himself to Syndey ..." (reads the caption to this illustration from The Quiver, 1886).

"... While she held her Perth" (we add).

February 26, 2014 (permalink)

We enjoyed mapping out a fun Jonathan Caws-Elwitt bit.

The caption reads:
"Really?? How did you arrive at that conclusion?"
"Well, I was coming from Premise Point, so I took Logic Boulevard and then made a sharp deduction. Then I went straight on Reasoning Avenue until I came to another clearly marked deduction. But if you're coming from Hypothesis Heights, you can also get there via the Experience Loop: just follow it around the perimeter of Empirical Square for a while, then take the first right induction after your evidence tank reads 'full.'" —Jonathan Caws-Elwitt

We call this one "Beverly Hills 1902-One-Oh."  The caption reads, "You are the little brown lady who comes so constantly to my house."  It appears in The English Illustrated Magazine, 1902.

February 12, 2014 (permalink)

You've heard that a horse was a Roman senator, but did you know a buffalo was the earl of Southesk?

From The Camp-fires of the Everglades; or, Wild Sports in the South by Charles Edward Whitehead, 1891.

January 28, 2014 (permalink)

Q: How do the eponymous Cat People escape being caged?

A: They break the fourth wall.  (See our still from the 1982 film.)

January 10, 2014 (permalink)

From literary scalawag Jonathan Caws-Elwitt:

There was a precocious young zebra,
Who was second to none in cerebra.
She read Plato, con brio,
With Venus in Leo,
And Leibniz when Mars was in Libra.

November 12, 2013 (permalink)

I have a pronounced Adam's apple.  It's pronounced "'adəms ˈapəl."

November 1, 2013 (permalink)

The proverbial "elephant in the room" hasn't been seen since Houdini's untimely death.

By the way, we did some digging and verified that every elephant in the room is descended from the Maharaja's beloved "Raj" (of "Five Blind Men and an Elephant" fame).  It's surprisingly little-known that the Maharaja also cherished an 800-pound gorilla.

September 29, 2013 (permalink)

Librarians have acquired tastes.  (That's a Googlewhack, but surely the joke's been done?)

(Thanks to New Hampshire's Keene Public Library for acquiring our Tarot of Portmeirion.  We can hardly imagine a lovelier home for the deck than a Victorian mansion!)

The Keene Public Library occupies a Second Empire mansion built c. 1869 by Henry Colony.

September 24, 2013 (permalink)

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt, acclaimed for tirelessly demonstrating an effervescent mastery of the agreeably diverting traditions, offers this quip:

At first glance, I could've sworn that one island off the coast of Alaska had the shape of an eight-limbed cephalopod... but it was just an octopal Aleutian.

[No man is an island: we picture below an octopal Aleutian.]

August 7, 2013 (permalink)

We call this one "O.C.D. MDCCCLXXXIII."  The caption reads, "They opened every folded paper they could find."  (The Leisure Hour from — you guessed it — 1883.)

Page 1 of 20

> Older Entries...

Original Content Copyright © 2014 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.