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 — May 23, 2015 (permalink)

The year before Mr. Venn died, it was as if his diagrams hadn't made a dent.  Consider this muddled circle from Thinking: An Introduction to Its History and Science by Fred Casey, 1922.

The UFO of success's levitation beam of temperance is blocked by an alcoholic drinks counter, which is obvious when you think about it.  From The Missionary Visitor, 1907.

A hypochondriac from Death's Doings, illustrated by Richard Dagley, 1827.

From the Mirror yearbook of Bates College, 1921.

"It is vacation," from Zigzag Journeys in Europe by Hezekiah Butterworth, 1880.

Yesterday — May 22, 2015 (permalink)

Writing an ode to immortality, from Death's Doings, illustrated by Richard Dagley, 1827.

Ah, the number of times we ourselves have been saved by a mirror.  From Love-Clouds by John Latey, 1894.

May 21, 2015 (permalink)

"Skipped round it in emulation of the faeries," from The Dwarf's Chamber and Other Stories by Fergus Hume, 1896.

Here are what Jonathan Caws-Elwitt might call "genuine cousins of pearl."  From Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 1860.

May 20, 2015 (permalink)

"Jumping Methodists in Wales," from The Geographical Encyclopædia, 1826.

May 19, 2015 (permalink)

From Deux Années au Brésil by Françcois Biard, 1862.

May 18, 2015 (permalink)

Pushed out of bed by an ill-tempered lily, from "A Flower of Prey" by Mildred Howells, in St. Nicholas magazine, 1904.

Here's a macabre invitation to a burial from An Historical Account of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters of the City of London by Edward Basil Jupp, 1848.

May 17, 2015 (permalink)

Yes, the opposite of a promised striptease is a threat to put on one's coat.  From The Perils of Certain English Prisoners by Charles Dickens, 1857.

"A hand he saw stretch'd like a claw," from The Vision of Misery Hill by Miles I'anson, 1891.

Science and Religion (holding a record book and a Bible) seek reconciliation through the goddess of Reason.  Above Reason's throne are the words analogy, perception, facts, logic, investigation, inference, and intelligence.  At Reason's feet is a sacrificed ball-and-chain of bigotry and dogma.  From Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.

We're guessing that this guy was a real tool.  From from Prose and Verse by William James Linton, 1836.

The parts of the nose as indicators of character, from How to Know Human Nature: Its Inner States and Outer Forms by William Walker Atkinson, 1919.

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