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 Fine Line Between...
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Always Remember
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Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up?
Disguised as a Christmas Tree
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Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led
No News Is Good News
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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

February 2, 2016 (permalink)

From Joyful News Reciter, 1889.

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December 13, 2015 (permalink)

Our Lady of Low Production Values, California.  From Caesar and Otto's Paranormal Halloween (2015).
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September 8, 2015 (permalink)

Here's a blooming halo from Iconographie Chrétienne by Adolphe Napoléon Didron, 1843.

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August 24, 2015 (permalink)

"A dignitary of the church laid low," from The Foreign Freaks of Five Friends by C. A. Jones, 1882.

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July 7, 2015 (permalink)

Here's a "preacher kick" from Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.
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June 24, 2015 (permalink)

"Up flew his holy body," from The World of Romance, 1892.
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June 16, 2015 (permalink)

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June 4, 2015 (permalink)

Here's a saintly jackdaw aware of its own halo, from Illustrated British Ballads, Old and New, edited by George Barnett Smith, 1886.

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May 1, 2015 (permalink)

Fog is the patron saint of the luminous clothing industry, as we learn in The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer.

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.
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January 25, 2015 (permalink)

From The New Hyperion by Edward Strahan, 1875.
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January 22, 2015 (permalink)

"You eat like a Saint of Good Nourishment and they think you're responding to the medication."
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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.
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January 9, 2015 (permalink)

From The Jackdaw of Rheims by Thomas Ingoldsby, 1870.
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January 5, 2015 (permalink)

A detail from a window display photograhed by Hartwell.
The Guardian dubbed Dean Martin "St. Dean of the Whatever."
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January 2, 2015 (permalink)

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December 8, 2014 (permalink)

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