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.
How things have changed. Today we're encouraged to drink lots of water, but back in 1911, when drinking water was considered irresponsible, "if you just must drink water," then at least let it be bottled. From Polk-Husted Directory Co.'s Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda Directory.
"Why shouldn't I tell you the whole truth? I really hope that one day I'll be able to see Time itself. Not actually there on the face of the watch of course. But one day I do hope to see how to see Time. It'd be a discovery with quite unpredictable consequences." —Ernst Kreuder, The Attic Pretenders
Here are some creepy old portraits from Broadstone Hall and Other Poems by William Edward Windus, with illustrations by A. Concanen, 1875. One's canine or skeletal, one's feline, and one's avian or alien. Note also the dimensionality of the portraits — the standing figure looks like he's ready to step right out into the room. And even the drapery at the right is haunted.
Whimsical electrical poles then and now: the first image is from Punch, 1849, and the second is by Choi+Shine Architects (see photos of their stunning "The Land of Giants" electrical pylons on the Iceland landscape). Truly, "electricity dances in the air here" (Timothy Brown, Temple of the Troll God, 2001).
"What is the present but the sum of the past in a moment of consciousness? And because the spirit can call upon this consciousness — this recall — at will, so the present is ever there in the stream of time and the flowing weave can become a broad tapestry spread out for me to contemplate; and I can point to the spot where a particular thread in the weft marks the start of a new design in the pattern. And I can follow the thread, knot by knot, forwards and backwards; it does not break off, it carries the design and the meaning in the design; it is the essence of the tapestry and has nothing to do with its temporal existence." —Gustav Meyrink,The Angel of the West Window
"Is it the dead who bring our memories back to life when they want us to feel their presence? Do they cross the stream of time to reach us by turning back the clock within us?" —Gustav Meyrink, The White Dominican