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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Today — April 26, 2018 (permalink)

In 1914, Popular Mechanics covered the driving out of evil spirits.
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April 24, 2018 (permalink)

"Mystery of broken goblets traced to violin."  From Popular Mechanics, 1928.
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April 22, 2018 (permalink)

One of our favorite early theories concerning the North Pole is the guardian bear/cat of the great spoon.  From Jugend, 1924.
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April 17, 2018 (permalink)

"Lives saved by giant voices."  From Popular Mechanics, 1932.
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April 16, 2018 (permalink)

Revealed -- the Easter Bunny outsources.  From Kladderadatsch, 1935.
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April 11, 2018 (permalink)

Printer's ink chases away haunting ghosts as efficaciously as gallons of holy water.  From A Phantom Lover by Vernon Lee, 1886.
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"The surprising truth is that all golfers, from Ben Hogan to Hulk Hogan, actually strike the ball with the club in a decelerating mode."
The Impact Zone: Mastering Golf's Moment of Truth
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April 9, 2018 (permalink)

Humming conjures the demon of jangled nerves.  From Popular Mechanics, 1934.
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April 7, 2018 (permalink)

Truth is mortal and will be outlived by the tortoise and the crow.  This we learn from James Stephens (author of one of our very favorite books, The Crock of Gold), in Here are Ladies, 1913
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April 3, 2018 (permalink)

Here is revealed the uncanniest thing in the mysterious world.  From The Little Minister by James Matthew Barrie, 1892.
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March 31, 2018 (permalink)

If you ever wondered about how fashion models affect those still expressions, it's all done with motors.  The headline reads, "Expression of model's face changed by motor."  From Popular Mechanics, 1934.
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March 30, 2018 (permalink)

Key juggling attracts the demon of jangled nerves.  From Popular Mechanics, 1934.
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March 26, 2018 (permalink)

Not everyone realizes that there are two rivers Styx and that they cross each other.  Also, not everyone knows that you can get vermouth made with water from the underworld.  It's all revealed in Le Journal Amusant, 1921.
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March 25, 2018 (permalink)

We peeked into the haunted mirror and gained a pupil.  (They say that when the teacher is ready, the pupil will appear.)  See our haunted mirror in action in our video about a lucid waking experiment gone wrong.
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March 24, 2018 (permalink)

"Overalls force plane to make landing."  A headline from Popular Mechanics, 1920.
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March 22, 2018 (permalink)

The Fairy Story that Came True, Showing that All Modern Inventions Were Foreshadowed in Fairy Stories by Annie Pupin, 1913.
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March 20, 2018 (permalink)

"Splitting headaches—for no reason at all."  From The Judge, 1916.
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March 19, 2018 (permalink)

A vintage fortune-telling weight scale -- its penny vault unlocked for the first time in years or even decades. Can you guess how many pennies will cascade out? Or how many rare coins will be among the loot? All the surprising details are revealed, along with some mind-bending esoteric secrets of copper pennies.

If you'd like the machine to tell your own fortune, leave a penny in Prof. Oddfellow's tip jar and he'll send you a snapshot of the answer that comes up:

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March 17, 2018 (permalink)

"Tiny windmills serve as eyes."  From Popular Mechanics, 1929.
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March 12, 2018 (permalink)

Here's a dinner table game involving a sharp knife, with points awarded for breaking dishes and soiling the table cloth.  From The Judge, 1921.
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Original Content Copyright © 2018 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.