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.
"If Joss has made no appointment for you, you are all right even if your ship blows up or the heavens fall; but if he has, you'll jump into the air or dive into the sea to keep it." From Popular Mechanics, 1918.
Here's a banquet arrangement called "Third form of enchantment," including "candied matters" and the Platonic ideal of a sponge cake among other sweets, arranged around an ornamental centerpiece. From Once a Week, 1860.
You've heard of "quite a shining genius, one of the sort who can see through a stone wall" (George Alfred Henty, Through the Fray, 1890). Yet "Even geniuses need help now and then" (T. M. Doran, Terrapin, 2012). Our illustration is from El Mundo Físico by A. Guillemin, 1882.