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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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
This May Surprise You

Today — September 29, 2016 (permalink)

"It may surprise you ... how amazing it was to watch the sepia tones of Kansas become the Technicolor vistas of Oz for the first time!" —A First Step into a Much Larger World

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Yesterday — September 28, 2016 (permalink)

You knew the dove of peace could defuse a bomb, but did you know how?  From Die Muskete, 1909.
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September 27, 2016 (permalink)

"It may surprise you that I'm not talking about some lofty, educational program on the History Channel or National Geographic." —5 Blind Spots

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Even a water witch can be a firebug, as we see in Superstitions Anciennes et Modernes, 1733.

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September 26, 2016 (permalink)

You've heard of (and perhaps even seen) castles in the air, but did you know they're supported by dirigible airships?  From Die Muskete, 1909.
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"The most dangerous words ever to be spoken: 'I do not believe in faeries.'" —Kate O'Hegarty, Mieradome
Here's our explanation of why those are the most dangerous words ever:
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"It may surprise you at the amount of information that flows through Twitter as well as the relationships that are forged with those 140 characters." —The Everything Wedding Book

If you fled Twitter like we did, let's all just blame the evil "Commander," as portrayed by Saiki Shigeru in Kanpai Senshi After V.

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September 25, 2016 (permalink)

"There are eight degrees between warm and cold." —Michael Paterniti, Love and Other Ways of Dying

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September 24, 2016 (permalink)

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September 21, 2016 (permalink)

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"It may surprise you that equal amounts of sand and salt are fairly close in weight or mass." —The Mineral Book by David McQueen

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September 18, 2016 (permalink)

There's disagreement about which drag queen first made the cover of a magazine, but here's Dan Leno way back in 1903.  Also, Dan Leno put the "y" in "hys" long before the "y" in "womyn," as we see in his autobiography of 1899.
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September 16, 2016 (permalink)

"It may surprise you, but many students do not develop good study skills." —Child and Adolescent Development in Your Classroom

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September 15, 2016 (permalink)

You guessed it: the top image, of the diameter of the Sun as seen from both Mercury and Earth, lines up exactly with the Mandelbrot fractal.  The top image is from Celestial Scenery by Thomas Dick, 1838.
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September 14, 2016 (permalink)

"You're nothing but a few chemicals!—Why worry about the general election?  You may 'go off' by spontaneous combustion."  From The Sketch, 1910.
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September 13, 2016 (permalink)

"It may surprise you to hear this, but people really don't care. They are much more concerned with themselves than they are with you." —How to Overcome Social Anxiety

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September 10, 2016 (permalink)

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September 7, 2016 (permalink)

The heart, too, has phases.  From Eeuwigduurende Liefdes Almanak, 1721.

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September 6, 2016 (permalink)

Precious little is known about the life of the father of geometry, but we've identified who killed him.  The caption reads, "It was really an accident, but—I killed Euclid."  From Scribner's, 1922.
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The pancake hub of the universe -- it may sound farfetched, yet physics posits a "cosmic pancake scenario" (composed of unrelaxed superclusters aligned along strings in which galaxies and clusters of galaxies are embedded, as per Schaeffer & Silk's "Large-Scale Inhomogeneities and Galaxy Statistics"), and in Buddhism, a cosmic pancake is one of the fundamental elements of the universe (see Chogyam Trungpa's Journey Without Goal, p. 137).  Ironically, once you reach the Pancake Hub of the Universe in Liberal, Kansas, "you're not in Kansas anymore."
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Original Content Copyright © 2016 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.