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 OneLetterWords.com.
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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

January 17, 2019 (permalink)

Here's how the backside of geometry can reveal a person's nationality.  From Le Rire, 1901.
#vintage illustration #art #geometry #backside #rump #buttocks #i like big butts
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January 4, 2019 (permalink)

In our urbex exploration of a ruined wizard's manor, we found in a locked library a strange book and a secret of How to Be Your Own Cat.
George Parker, author of The Little Book of Creativity, writes:
I carry this book everywhere. On my iPad, sure, but I still carry it around and read from it every once in a while. To get that whack against the side of my head and wake up from the sometimes numbing and increasingly one-dimensional world of news, politics and chores. Great to see some of it animated with nice visuals and a great voice over! Thanks.
#cat
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January 2, 2019 (permalink)

Our planet's spokeswizard, Cyril the Sorcerer, honored us with an invitation to formulate a magical coin.  We jumped at the prospect of alchemical metallurgy, but this wizard added the twist that he wished to work with precious woods, not metals.  He sought something less silver than sylvan.  For his coin design, I was inspired by the wizard's remarkable eyeglasses.  They have marvelous loops at the ends of the ear pieces.  I overlapped those loops, like linking rings, to form a third eye of wizardly wisdom.  The lens pieces are emblazoned with the two heavenly luminaries most associated with our planet.  The coin's other side depicts an open hand reaching for a star, surrounded by Cyril's teaching that "the magic is in your hand."  What a privilege to be a part of our planetary spokeswizard's enchantment!
#magic #coin
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December 31, 2018 (permalink)

While we knew that Chronos is annually wedded to the spirit of the year, we didn't realize that he keeps the old ones in a closet.  From Lustige Blätter, 1900.
#vintage illustration #art #father time #scythe #chronos
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December 30, 2018 (permalink)

Still true to this day -- while others are out drinking, snowmen and Pierrot bury the old year.  From Le Rire, 1911.
#vintage illustration #snowman #art #coffin #new year #1910 #pierrot
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"Contrary to popular belief, there are no set stages for grieving the loss of a loved one. If you've heard a lot about the stages of grief, this may surprise you." —Chapel of the Chimes
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December 29, 2018 (permalink)

Because water bends all the rules of science ("Water: The Weirdest Liquid On the Planet"), we used the mysteries of crystallization to uncover the deepest secret of the Easter Island monoliths.  What we saw in the carved Polynesian ice cube froze our blood!
#easter island #ice cube
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December 25, 2018 (permalink)

From The Rotunda newspaper of Longwood College, 1970.
#christmas #vintage headline #mistletoe
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December 24, 2018 (permalink)

We did some fact checking before posting this.  "Everybody is somebody."  From Clarke's 1983 yearbook.
#vintage yearbook #vintage headline #everybody #somebody
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Christmas tree bulbs are fairy eggs.  From The Fairy who Believed in Human Beings, written and illustrated by Gertrude Alice Kay, 1918.
#vintage illustration #christmas tree #fairy tale #art #christmas fairy #fairy baby
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"Holly is symbolic of eternal life."  If only today's newspapers could report what matters.  From Stoutiana, 1916.
#eternal life #vintage headline #holly
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December 23, 2018 (permalink)

Every snowflake holographically contains a snowman.  From Taylor University's Gem yearbook, 1956.
#snowman #vintage photo #winter #vintage yearbook #snowflake
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December 21, 2018 (permalink)

From The Rotunda newspaper of Longwood College, 1970.
#beard #christmas #santa #vintage headline
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December 20, 2018 (permalink)

We learned the truth of this at the top of Mt. Habrich, British Columbia [Google Street View gives a sense of the place]:
Time passes unevenly in the mountains, free of all calendars; things seem to happen either at once, or never.
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December 19, 2018 (permalink)

Instead of a "Page 3" topless glamour model like in the British tabloids, this page three features a psychedelic visualization of a mathematical equation, created in HyperCard.  News we can believe in!  From The Connector newspaper (University of Lowell), Feb. 14, 1991.  We made a giant version of the graphic for you to zoom in upon and get lost in.
#pattern #mathematics #weird news #hypercard
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December 18, 2018 (permalink)

Mother Nature makes snow via a can of chloro-flurry-carbons.  From The Daily Universe, 1963.
#vintage photo #snow #mother nature #canned snow #spray snow
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December 9, 2018 (permalink)

"This may surprise you: God is not against you having money." —Larry Huch
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December 1, 2018 (permalink)

"Insects survive the winter in strange ways."  From Popular Mechanics, 1934.
#insects #vintage headline #surviving winter
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November 21, 2018 (permalink)

"This may surprise you, but there is no scientific study that supports the notion all happiness goes up in a puff of smoke the day after your 40th birthday." —Desperate Houselife
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November 20, 2018 (permalink)

This is how pickles are made and why the jars hold more vinegar water and fewer slices every year.  From Lustige Blätter, 1908.
#vintage illustration #art #hot air balloon #giant knife #pickle #cucumber #giant pickle #giant cucumber
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