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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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led

Be neither saint nor sophist-led, but be a man.
—Matthew Arnold

March 12, 2015 (permalink)

"The powder in the eyes, mouth, and ears of the idol blew up."  From The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, 1895.

March 2, 2015 (permalink)

"We're just ordinary people who don't have any supernatural powers ... and don't want any."  A still from William Castle's 13 Ghosts.

March 1, 2015 (permalink)

Here's the patron saint of slippery slopes, from Lead, Kindly Light by John Henry Newman and illustrated by Frank Dadd, 1887.

February 28, 2015 (permalink)

Magicians (like Uri Geller) who perform spoon bending aren't necessarily religious, but they have a patron saint just the same.  Here's the patron saint of magical cutlery, from The Saturday Evening Post, 1839.

January 25, 2015 (permalink)

From The New Hyperion by Edward Strahan, 1875.

January 22, 2015 (permalink)

"You eat like a Saint of Good Nourishment and they think you're responding to the medication."

January 11, 2015 (permalink)

"And make the puppy dance a jig, / When he began to quote Augustine."  From Every-day Characters by Winthrop Mackworth Praed and illustrated by Cecil Charles Windsor, 1896.

January 9, 2015 (permalink)

From The Jackdaw of Rheims by Thomas Ingoldsby, 1870.

January 5, 2015 (permalink)

A detail from a window display photograhed by Hartwell.
The Guardian dubbed Dean Martin "St. Dean of the Whatever."

January 2, 2015 (permalink)

Photo by William Keckler.

December 8, 2014 (permalink)

Photo by Amorette Dye.
The patron saint of sweet potatoes lies in wait for Thanksgiving.  —William Keckler (paraphrased)

November 27, 2014 (permalink)

Saint Betty: "You know, the nun who taught the lepers how to sing." —Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)

November 14, 2014 (permalink)

"Here's to the great god Self," from Ozmar the Mystic by Emeric Hulme Beaman, 1896.

November 6, 2014 (permalink)

"Saint Satan," from The New Hyperion by Edward Strahan, 1875.

November 3, 2014 (permalink)

"Saint Unknown, by the Old Masters," from The Innocents Abroad by Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1869.

August 22, 2014 (permalink)

A Retroactive Lifetime Goal*: we've been dubbed "the patron saint of 'going with it'"!

*The phrase "Retroactive Lifetime Goal" appears courtesy of Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.

July 24, 2014 (permalink)

"An extemporaneous No-Popery Dance."  An illustration from The Letters of Charles Dickens (1893).

July 5, 2014 (permalink)

Photo by Kevin Dooley.

June 14, 2014 (permalink)

"It's St. Dennis, the patron saint of clip show hosts.  St. Dennis protects against any damage befalling your clips show." —Harry Hill's exquisitely funny TV Burp

May 3, 2014 (permalink)

A Saint Bunkum from The Tomahawk (June 1870).

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