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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May 19, 2019 (permalink)

"And thus we arrive at the surprising truth that true art is truer than fact."
Charles H. Ames, The Relation of Art to Nature, 1892
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May 13, 2019 (permalink)

A haunted bathroom in the Solvang clock tower (and where the spirit led):
#ghost #clock tower #solvang #w. somerset maugham
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"Electricity will detect fraud in maple sugar."  From Popular Mechanics, 1914.
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May 1, 2019 (permalink)

Great news for lady night owls: "Women's hours are extended to 11 each night."  From Middlebury's The Campus newspaper, 1961.
#night owl #vintage headline
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April 29, 2019 (permalink)

You've heard chess called "the game of kings," but the original billiards cues were the staves of rulers' flags.  From Le Charivari, 1879.
#vintage illustration #billiards #flag
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April 25, 2019 (permalink)

You've seen Dalí's melting watches in "The Persistence of Memory," but did you know that's a real place?  From Mars Hill's 1953 yearbook.
#vintage photo #vintage yearbook #Salvador Dali #melting watch #persistence of memory
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April 24, 2019 (permalink)

We've never before seen statistics likened to anti-bacterial soap:
"We repeatedly wash our hands in statistics, these being a cerebral equivalent of the germicidal hand-pumped gel." —Andrew West, Being With and Saying Goodbye
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April 23, 2019 (permalink)

"Realistic head on child's broomstick."  From Popular Mechanics, 1934.
#broomstick #weird headline #vintage headline
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April 22, 2019 (permalink)

Here's how to see the sunrise at the earliest moment, by actually turning your back on the east.  The text reads: “To see the sunrise at the earliest moment. If, instead of looking towards the east, you turn your back to the point where the sun rises, you will perceive the first gleams of light on the top of any tall object, as a spire, a chimney, or a tree, long before the rays will be apparent on the eastern horizon.”  From The Magician's Own Book, 1871.
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April 4, 2019 (permalink)

Turns out that none of our books are about what they seem to be.  This we learned from a friend in Australia, who has a special perspective on things (as we all know, everything in Australia is upside down).  So imagine our surprise upon re-reading the world's unlikeliest script, The Dictionary of One-Letter Words: The Movie.  Mind blown!
#one-letter words #film script #screenwriting
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March 31, 2019 (permalink)

"An apple a day keeps the goblins away."  From The Rotunda newspaper of Longwood College, 1971.
#vintage illustration #goblin #art #vintage headline #apple
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March 30, 2019 (permalink)

They said it was utterly unfilmable, as unfilmable as William Burroughs' Naked Lunch.  A dictionary made into a movie?  And not just any dictionary — the Dictionary of One-Letter Words.  The script, illustrated with photos and storyboards, is finally available in print.  Yes, it's The Dictionary of One-Letter Words: The Movie.
#one-letter words #film script #unfilmable
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March 29, 2019 (permalink)

Did you know that Blade Runner and Big Trouble in Little China are the same film, with only the tiniest of negligible differences?
  Blade Runner Big Trouble
James Hong obsessed with eyeballs X X
The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure X X
Antagonist who would be immortal X X
Protagonist narrates his own story X X
Asian crowds with umbrellas X X
Noodle shops X X
Series of tests X X
Ominous statuary comes to life X X
Disguised investigations of disreputable establishments X X
Historic architecture X X
Combatting aliens X X
California setting X X









#blade runner #big trouble in little china #james hong
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"Exhaused dry batteries produce flame spectacle."  From Popular Mechanics, 1919. 
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March 25, 2019 (permalink)

"Z is smooth, clever, provocative[;] it is, in essence, very, very real."  From The Rotunda newspaper of Longwood College, 1970.
For many more things that Z is, see One-Letter Words: A Dictionary.
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March 24, 2019 (permalink)

"The demon ruler."  From The Rotunda newspaper of Longwood College, 1967.
#demon #vintage headline
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March 23, 2019 (permalink)

"Toothpaste called 'lust' fights 'smooch decay.'"  From The Rotunda newspaper of Longwood College, 1966.
#vintage headline #lust #toothpaste
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March 21, 2019 (permalink)

"Scientist probe[s] into sex life of cabbage."  From The Rotunda newspaper of Longwood College, 1966.
#cabbage #vintage headline #vegetable
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March 10, 2019 (permalink)

Slinky toys are not manufactured but rather molted.  From National-Louis's 1974 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #vintage yearbook #peacock #slinky
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Every year has been the end of the world, since the world began.  From The Rotunda newspaper of Longwood College, 1972.
#end of the world #apocalypse #vintage headline #fake news #sensationalism
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Original Content Copyright © 2019 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.