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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Restoring the Lost Sense

Today — April 1, 2015 (permalink)

Yesterday — March 31, 2015 (permalink)

Substitutes for Christianity here include the spiritual drugs of aestheticism, idealism, ritualism, dilettantism, and intellectualism, as well as tinctures of Plato, Kipling, Tennyson, Emerson, Carlyle, Browning, and Shakespeare.  From Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.

The devil takes a little sin for a ride, from Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.

Here are some good intentions from Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.

March 30, 2015 (permalink)

You've heard of being raked over the coals, but here are some rakes under the coal [we're here all night], from Purdue Debris, 1917.

"A mirror doubles the scene, confirming what is at first hard to make out and then hard to believe." —Peter Schjeldahl, The 7 Days Art Columns, 1988-1990


Our illustration appears in St. Nicholas magazine, 1912.

Here's some time-bending via music, from St. Nicholas magazine.  The caption reads, "The clock seemed to go very slowly."

March 29, 2015 (permalink)

From Goddelycke Wenschen, 1629.

From The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispaha by James Justinian Moirier and illustrated by H. R. Millar, 1894.

Here's "the end" from Sequelle, 1912.

March 28, 2015 (permalink)

"A commonplace amphibious young person, with no ideas beyond not dressing herself."  From In the Green Park; or, Half-pay Deities by F. Norreys Connell, 1894.

"The burning ship drifted on with its dead through the night," from Valdar the Oft-Born: A Saga of Seven Ages by George Chetwynd Griffith Jones, 1895 

"Escorting the unknown in question," from The Bachelor's Christmas by Robert Grant, 1895.

Mother Rigby presents her life-giving pipe to the scarecrow she has animated, from Nathaniel Hawthorne's fable "Feathertop," 1852.

March 27, 2015 (permalink)

"He came in thoroughly washed," from Peaks and Pines: Another Norway Book by James Arthur Lees, 1899.  (We're guessing that if Jonathan Caws-Elwitt were to distill this image into one word, it would be "cleansed."  That word happens to be one of his many contributions to the Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns By Sound.)

From Songs of the Immortals, illustrated by Haldane Macfall, c. 1920.  (In honor of "Floating Head Friday.")

"The horrible devil in the valley perilous," from The Marvellous Adventures of Sir John Maundevile, 1895.

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